Re: In an RDBMS, what does "Data" mean?

From: Anthony W. Youngman <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 22:48:35 +0100
Message-ID: <W0$>

In message <awmwc.12018$%F2.11413_at_attbi_s04>, Bill H <> writes
>> When it comes to modeling
>> information, I suspect there will always be a gap. Relational advocates
>> favor being able to derive truths from other truths, acknowledging of
>> that the internal predicates must be defined relative to an external one,
>> and that that's a human effort which can always go awry.

Yep. I have no problem with that. It's just that the whole point of this thread was me asking "what is that external one", and I still haven't got an answer. What I *have* got, though, is loads of people having a go at me for having the temerity to ask the question ...

>> You and Dawn, as
>> best I can understand, place more value on reproduction of the original
>> inputs.
>I can't speak for Anthony and Dawn, but I place more value not on the
>original inputs but the original concept. An invoice _is_ something that
>usually has multiple items ordered. It is an object in and of itself that
>needs no "chopping up", so to speak.

Yep. I think you're certainly speaking for me here.
>This is where simpler means don't destroy the properties of the invoice in
>order to make the data fit into an arbitrary data model with tautological
>axioms and theorems. Keep the business objects as close to what they are.
>A data model that can do this has many advantages.
>> I suspect there are simply different expectations; I'd rather
>> stretch the computer to avoid stretching humans in ways they're not good
>> (e.g. repetitive symbolic manipulation).

Except that relational theory DOES stretch humans in ways they're not good at. Didn't Tony have a go at me for "can't you handle the abstraction?". Why should I, when the MV model tells me I don't have to?
>I think you right here. I've been in business for many years. I would like
>development to be easy for me. We can watch the pendulum swinging towards
>making software development easier for those of us using the software.
>.NET, for better or worse, is attempting to make development easier (if it
>wasn't for the bizarre data typing and variable scoping it would be a lot
>easier). Hopefully dbms theory will contribute to this too.

I want development to be easy, too :-)


Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble
activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted
activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its
pipes nor its theories will hold water. John W Gardner
Received on Mon Jun 07 2004 - 23:48:35 CEST

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