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Re: Sourcing Metadata for Database Independence

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <dwolt_at_tincat-group.comREMOVE>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 09:47:52 -0500
Message-ID: <cfdbj5$3hh$1@news.netins.net>


"Kenneth Downs" <firstinit.lastname_at_lastnameplusfam.net> wrote in message news:d8adfc.8p.ln_at_mercury.downsfam.net...
> Dawn M. Wolthuis wrote:
>
> >> > There are many different strategies for where to
> >> > source such metadata (as well as how extensive this metadata should
be
> > since
> >> > all code is, itself, metadata).
> >>
> >> Code contains and uses metadata, but it *is* not metadata, imho.
> >
> > I knew others would disagree as I think I've said it before, but if
> > metadata
> > were to have an IF statement in it, would that make it no longer data?
> > Are database constraints metadata?
> >
>
> Dawn, I'll take a stab at that. My own practical experience is this: data
> is a portable appreciating asset, code is a non-portable depreciating
> asset. In other words, my prosperity is linked to the ratio of my
> investments in atomic data vs code. Therefore, regardless of anybody's
> theory, I cannot in practice treat the two of them as the same thing
> because if I do my bottom line will suffer.

An interesting angle on this and I'll think about it a little more.

> Now, why isn't code another form of data? Here is one reason, amongst
many.
> Because the process of generating code out of data is cheap, and the
> process of parsing code to get data is expensive. Only if my data is
> completely devoid of parsable expressions, that is, only if it does not
> contain that IF statement, can I manage the data purely with
> data-manipulation techniques and confidently grind out reams of app code
> without fear. As soon as it contains expressions that must be parsed, my
> simple one-way generator is now a two-way interpreter/generator. No
> thanks.
>
> Hope this sheds light.

Yes, sortof kinda, however when I look at Production data these days, there are a lot of end-user specified "rules" some actual ands and ors embedded and others where the code is customized to these parameters. You are saying that these parms to the rules engine (which might just be ye average code) appreciate and the interpretation of this data (the code) depreciates. I can feel this distinction in data vs software assets, but the distinction between the two is blurred. Code, when kept in a repository, is data too, right?

I've got something to chew on and will do so. Cheers! --dawn

> --
> Kenneth Downs
> Use first initial plus last name at last name plus literal "fam.net" to
> email me
Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 09:47:52 CDT

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