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Re: First Impressions on Using Alphora's Dataphor

From: Laconic2 <laconic2_at_comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 21:55:16 -0400
Message-ID: <bqSdnVcn-eRjRK7cRVn-pw@comcast.com>

"Paul G. Brown" <paul_geoffrey_brown_at_yahoo.com> wrote in message news:57da7b56.0408301732.c200bd5_at_posting.google.com...

> The dumbest idea in 'database theory' is that 'relational theory' is
> about how to build 'databases' (and therefore that the way to advocate
> for the 'relational model' is to bash SQL DBMS products, multi-value
> DBMS products, and so on).
>
> The Relational Model describes a 'reason machine'.

Here's a quote from the original Codd paper:

<quote>
This paper is concerned with the application of elementary relation theory to systems which provide shared access to large banks of formatted data. Except for a paper by Childs [1], the principal application of relations to data systems has been to deductive question - answering systems. Levein and Maron [2] provide numerous references to work in this area. </quote>

It's clear from the above that relational data thory was not originally about databases as such. To me, "reason machine", "inference engine", and "deductive question answering systems" all seem like variations on a theme. But that doesn't mean that using the relational model as the basis for a database was a bad idea. It was a good idea, when compared to the existing alternatives in 1970. It's still a good idea.

Your comments regarding Dataphor may well be correct. It may be much more than a "database", and perhaps it should be.

"systems which provide shared acess to large banks of formatted data" are still relevant, although in a different context.

I think much of the ideological thrashing and trashing I've seen in this forum is comparing "databases" to "application development environments" as if they were the same kind of thing. It's useful to realize that they are not. Received on Mon Aug 30 2004 - 20:55:16 CDT

Original text of this message

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