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Re: Poll: What percentage advantage are RDBMS vendors taking of the RM?

From: <lauri.pietarinen_at_atbusiness.com>
Date: 23 Jun 2005 15:56:40 -0700
Message-ID: <1119567400.729054.215810@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>


mountain man wrote:
> How much now, as a percentage out of 100, are contributors
> to this newsgroup prepared to estimate the "realisation" of the
> relational model of data within the SQL-DBMS vendors
> (ie: IBM - DB2, Oracle, MS - SQL Server)
>

I think it's like asking "How much, as a percentage out of 100, was calculus "realised" in the 18th century by the current mathematicians", such as Lagrange and Euler. They surely made lot's of important discoveries, but still further important work was to come after the "cleaning up" of Analysis by the likes of Cauchy, Gauss and Riemann. For instance there was not even a proof for the binominal theorem when n is not an integer greater than zero until Gauss gave one. 1)

So, from the perspective of the 18th century the answer would have maybe been close to 80, but we now know that they had barely scratched the surface!

Likewise, since the RM is a mathematical theory, we don't really know where it will lead us in the future. However, it is important to try to keep the theory "clean" even though the practical consequences are not obvious at the time or might even cause some backsteps. The products (such as DB2, Oracle and SQLServer) are chained to their current user base and they don't really have a way out. They can only go towards increased complexity. That is not to say that they are not useful. But they are probably not in the position to take advantage of advances in the theory of the RM, or even realise it's current potential.

Regards,
Lauri Pietarinen

  1. E.T. Bell, Men of Mathematics, p. 222
Received on Thu Jun 23 2005 - 17:56:40 CDT

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