Re: Date's First Great Blunder

From: Hugo Kornelis <hugo_at_pe_NO_rFact.in_SPAM_fo>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 20:29:07 +0200
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 08:20:24 -0500, Dawn M. Wolthuis wrote:

>"Laconic2" <> wrote in message
>> I expect that, if you dig deep enough, you'll find that the terms
>> "hierarchical data model" and "network data model" predate the
>> data model.
>> These are just two places to start the search.
>I've searched -- I haven't found them. My assessment is that there
>certainly could have been a person who uttered the words "hierarchical
>database" when talking about IMS prior to 1970, but so far I have not found
>anything in writing referring to hierarchical or network database prior to
>Codd's 1970 ACM paper. I suspect it is historically accurate that
>relational theorists coined these terms or at least standardized on them for
>discussions of why relational was a better strategy. If someone has
>evidence to the contrary, I'm very interested.

Hi Dawn,

Even if someone could find hard proof that the terms hierarchical and network database were never used prior to 1970, that would still not proof that these are marketing terms, nor that they stem from the "relational camp".

When the first computers were built, nobody called them "mainframe". That term was only introduces when mini computers started to appear. Is the term "mainframe" a marketing term, invented by the producers of minicomputers? Or is it just a term that was needed to be able to distinguish a new type of computers from an old type?

I've had a personal computer for years without ever referring to it as a "desktop". That word was introduced when the first laptop computers were introduced? A marketing term, introduced by the producers of laptop computers? Or just a word that turend out to be helpful in distinguishing the differend sizes of computers?

The introduction of the relational model meant the introduction of a completely different kind of database. So, there had to be a way to distinguish between the "old" database structure and the "new" database structure. And I must admit that the terms "hierarchic" and "network" describe the storage model of those databases quite accurately.

A real marketeer would probably not have invented these words. (S)he would have referred to the relational databases as "new" and to all others as "old".

Groetjes, Hugo


Sorry, vandaag geen grappige sig lines meer.
Received on Tue Apr 20 2004 - 20:29:07 CEST

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