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Re: Pre-relational, post-relational, 1968 CODASYL "Survey of Data Base Systems"

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 20:46:38 -0500
Message-ID: <c6hpm8$iqd$1@news.netins.net>


"Ken North" <knorth2_at_deletethis.yahoo.com> wrote in message news:c6hoif$cmb$1_at_ngspool-d02.news.aol.com...
> > You might want to take a look at
> http://www.tincat-group.com/images/MVFamilyTreeColor.pdf to see a diagram
I
> > did when researching both history and current vendors of products based
on
> > the Nelson-Pick "data model." IBM has the largest installed base.
>
> There's a discrepancy between
>
> 1. Your diagram

(http://www.tincat-group.com/images/MVFamilyTreeColor.pdf )
> 2. this page

(http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Ken_North/db_hall.htm)
> 3. various Pick history documents over the years (e.g.,
> www.picksys.com/company/corp.pdf)
>
> and an article in my folder of 1968 documents.
>
> References 1 and 2 show GIRLS to be a predecessor to TRW's GIM-I (1965).
That's
> in agreement with an article published in a Datamation article (1967 or
1968,
> the data is illegible).
>
> Some Pick documents refer to GIRLS as originally conceived as a TRW
project. For
> example, this Pick corporate history is incorrect (according to that old
> article):
>
> "In 1965, as part of a research and development project for the U.S. Army,
> engineers at TRW Corp developed a software program
> called Generalized Information Retrieval Lanaguage and System." Or GIRLS
for
> short."
>
> The 1965 effort at TRW was part of the Cheyenne helicopter program, which
was
> eventually cancelled by the US government. The DBMS produced by that
effort was
> called GIM, ane eventually GIM-I when TRW started developing GIM-II for
PDP-11
> minicomputers. GIM-I was still running at TRW after Dick Pick was working
on
> Microdata Reality in the early '70s.
>
> In "General Purpose Software" (Datamation), Donald H. Sundeen is pretty
clear
> about the origin of GIRLS:
>
> "A joint effort by Advanced Information Systems and Douglas Aircraft
Company in
> 1961 resulted in the development of GIRLS (Generalized Information
Retrieval and
> Listings System) for an IBM 7090 at the latter firm's Missile and Space
Systems
> Division."
>
> So why the confusion? It was probably an overlap in personnel -- one or
more
> GIRLS developers who worked on GIM a few years later (possibly Dwight
Buettell,
> Don Nelson or Dick Pick).

Very interesting. I should have tried harder to find someone who was at TRW in the 60's. I talked with several folks who had Dick Pick's stories from TRW, having heard them after he left in '69. I didn't know there was controversy on that issue. I do have the GIM-I & II information, but the only original document I have was from '65. There are detailed flow charts that Don Nelson prepared in the early 60's as the spec for GIRLS. I thought he did that while at TRW, with Pick joining him later. Is Dwight Duettell still living?
--dawn
P.S. Sorry this is offtopic, but I'm planning to do an update on the diagram next year (40th anniversary) and have several minor corrections to make, but sure would like to have the origins as accurate as can be. Received on Sun Apr 25 2004 - 20:46:38 CDT

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