Re: dbdebunk 'Quote of Week' comment

From: Roy Hann <specially_at_processed.almost.meat>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 15:01:22 +0100
Message-ID: <>

"Frank_Hamersley" <> wrote in message news:NclNe.4651$
> I understand all the points and concerns they generate...but in my own
> personal toolkit of techniques I have found I can use surrogate keys and
> suffer none of the grief you attribute to them.

I believe you are fooling yourself.

> I guess I should declare 27 years of involvement with gadgets starting in
> the age of PDP-8/11's, Altairs, Alpha Micro, CDC Cybers (what a machine
> was) might have taught me a few tricks in this regard. So all you pups
> searching for gems should prolly accord 80 in an 80/20 measure of Joes
> dissertation.

I have been in this field just as long as you. (I still have a copy of the MITS Altair newsletter with a Chirstmas photo of Bill Gates and the rest of the Microsoft team--all 16 of them.)

In that time I have seen/written/endured untold mountains of spaghetti code do to foolish and misguided things, that had I known and followed the advice of people like Date and Pascal (and maybe even Celko on occasion) I could have mostly avoided.

If you were to explain to me how unnecessary surrogate keys silently conceal corruption, and how you guaranteed that they wouldn't, and that it all ended up being cheaper, simpler, and more maintainable than if you hadn't used them, then I might be prepared to accept that you haven't suffered any of the grief. But since you haven't explained that, I'm more inclined to think you just haven't noticed or recognized it. Not noticing that you have cancer is not the same as not having it.

It is not too late to explain now. I keep an open (but properly sceptical) mind.

Roy (No pup) Received on Fri Aug 19 2005 - 16:01:22 CEST

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