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Re: It don't mean a thing ...

From: mAsterdam <mAsterdam_at_vrijdag.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 08:59:20 +0200
Message-ID: <40bd7abd$0$33919$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl>


mountain man wrote:

> mAsterdam wrote:

>>mountain man wrote:
>>>mAsterdam wrote:
>>>><quote>
>>>>         Data on its own has no meaning, only
>>>>         when interpreted by some kind of data
>>>>         processing system does it take on
>>>>         meaning and become information.
>>>></quote>
>>>>Does it have a source?
>>>>Is it bad?
>>
>>>The word "meaning" is critical here.  Meaning to whom?
>>>I'd probably guess that this meaning is with respect to
>>>the organization which has assembled the data, the systems,
>>>the users, etc.  So using this ...
>>>
>>>IMO the statement is accurate, but should be
>>>generalised further: data on its own not only has
>>>no meaning but is absolutely useless without the
>>>corresponding application layer by which it is
>>>constantly maintained.
>>

[snip]
>>Is it bits & bytes? Does, in your view, shared data
>>constitute, by definiton, information?

>
> What we call data is stored by the OS on the HW
> by the RDBMS as bits and bytes.

So, Newton had no data you (plural) can speak of. What did he have?

The emergence of bit and bytes changed
the way we can handle data (meaningful data, of course - sigh - should I add this everey time I use the word data? - I'ld rather not). When we handle data them with computers we can say computer data, most of the time that is a little overly specific so we simply say data. Should the definition of data change because of this change in the way we handle them? For what purpose?

> It is maintained
> by means of the application software directing the
> RDBMS and is presented to the user in the organisation
> be means of the application software.

Agreed.

> A DBA might like to think that the application layer is
> not required, and if it was missing, then if the DBA had
> sufficient resources, perhaps the DBA could perform
> the role of the application layer and need only the RDBMS
> layer and the data for limited instances, but not for the
> entire organisation.

We both encountered this way of thinking. Not only DBA think this way (and luckily not all DBA). I've seen people creating some datamodel + CRUDs, actually thinking they created an application. They did not. I think we are on the same track regarding this.

> Those in this forum who like to think that the data is of
> meaning and use (to an organisation) without the application
> layer should sit in an organisation alongside the database
> and ask themselves how the needs of that organisation
> with respect to the data are going to be met without the
> application layer.

I like to think that data is of meaning and use with and without computers.

> If the application layer is thieved overnight off a system
> the organisation cannot get at the data in the manner that
> they are accustomed, and the organisation will ground to
> a halt, until that app layer is replaced.
> The data is far more critical, of course, and if someone
> thieved the data, then the organisation would be searching
> for a backup of that data, and would grind to a halt until
> that data is replaced.

Yep.

[snip]

> Theory and practice are complimentary. Relational
> theory might like to consider that the data has
> independent meaning, but practical theory
> does not as it is fully aware that the system
> consists of integrated elements, the data
> being one of these.

Sorry, I don't really get this. Where does relational theory come into play? Are you saying relational theory defines data as having meaning? Received on Wed Jun 02 2004 - 01:59:20 CDT

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