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Re: Pizza Example

From: mAsterdam <>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 03:15:41 +0200
Message-ID: <4081d6bd$0$64453$>

Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
> mAsterdam writes:

>> ...What would a Pick-schema look like that
>> would support Ice Cream orders?

> Let's say I wanted to keep ORDER_ITEMS, rather than create a new
> ICE_CREAMS FILE, I would probably have two FIELDs in ORDER_ITEMS, the
> first called BASE and the second TOPPING.
> I would need a lookup-file containing permitted bases, which might
> contain the records "ice cream", "thin pizza", "crusty pizza", etc. I'd
> also have a lookup file of permitted toppings, and the matching bases,
> so I'd have records like "fetta; thin pizza, crusty pizza", "chocolate;
> ice cream".
> Okay, validation is being pushed into the app layer (I'd like triggers
> to enforce it when the app tried to write to the database), but if my
> toppings file is indexed on the "matching base", the app would present
> the user with a list of bases for the ORDER_ITEMS. As soon as they have
> selected one, I read the index to get a list of permitted toppings which
> I can then present to the user for selection.

As soon as the constraints get a little cumbersome to formulate, the validation is pushed out, the triggers will be implemented in some next release. Yeah right. After the damage is done. It happens to most databases, not just those implemented in Pick-a-likes. The expressional poverty of most DB languages causes this, IMHO.

Date requires the DB language ('D') to be computationally complete. While this would not prevent all this from happening it would take away excuses to not prevent it.

>>> As a Pick database designer, I would have one FILE (our equivalent of 
>>> "table") per real-world object type.
>> Even if there would be support for Icecreams and wine it wouldn't
>> be even close to re-use of those data by other
>> applications/processes/use-cases, let alone sharing data
>> between them.
>> From this I get the impression that the Pick view on the term
>> "database" is a sort of deluxe filesystem for one application
>> instead of a shared repository. Is that correct?

> What do you mean? You mean you'd describe a hard disk as a deluxe
> filesystem for a single application called "the operating system"?

No. Why would I do that?

> Actually, Pick did start as a sort of operating system, so it would be
> more correct to view it as an environment where you can run multiple
> applications on it that share their data. So as I see it, it *must* be a
> "repository", or database.


>> I am not suggesting this is a wrong view, it just a different
>> type of beast than what I have in mind when I use the term database.
>> A databases (as I use the term) by definition contains shared data.
>> As a consequence the database (schema) should be designed to support 
>> mutliple applications.

> Yup. Pick is.

So the restrucuring you proposed for including Ice cream orders affects all other applications. Including the duplicated validations for say the application 'ingredient purchasing'.

>>> As a Pick database designer, I would have one FILE (our equivalent of 
>>> "table") per real-world object type. The data in this file *is* 
>>> *normalised*. It's just that it's NFNF (non first normal form).
>> Could you please elaborate on the normalisation as you use the term?
>> A google on 'Pick Normalise data' doesn't help much.

> I use it as I understand everyone else uses it - you analyse your data
> to remove redundant repetition. It's just that, as far as I am
> concerned, "normalised" does not mean "*first* normal".

I am really trying to understand what you mean by normalization or 'removing redundant repetiton'. From this I don't. What normalisation do you mean if not 1..5(or6)NF as described by the relational theorists? That is how I understand everyone else uses the word in a database context. I am not asking you to completely explain the procedure. A reference will do. I'll buy a book if necessary.

>>> So. Imagine you've defined a view, in your relational database, that 
>>> joins all tables representing an object. You then "list" (sorry I 
>>> don't know the relational term) one object in your view. In your 
>>> two-dimensional view, imagine that all duplicated values just "don't 
>>> exist". You now have the equivalent of a Pick RECORD (a bit like your 
>>> row). We don't duplicate a simple attribute because it doesn't make 
>>> sense to do so - why list it repeatedly when it only exists once per  
>>> object?
>> ISTM that this is a reporting issue. Is there more to it?

> See my other comments. Dawn has said I'm confusing relational and SQL
> (which is likely true). If you select a view that includes a "many"
> join, then the view will likely contain redundant repeated data.

So for a clean report you would like to have the duplication filtered out.
I would to.
Every dbms I have seen comes with
a reporting facility capable of doing that.

Am I missing the point you make? Received on Sat Apr 17 2004 - 20:15:41 CDT

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