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Re: All hail Neo!

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 01:20:40 GMT
Message-ID: <I%U3g.66407$>

Marshall Spight wrote:

> Bob Badour wrote:

>>Marshall Spight wrote:
>>>It is worth noting that this is a *design* issue and
>>>not a theoretical one per se.
>>Which is why one should leave it to the designer. Give me a good logical
>>model to use, and if I wish the behaviour that null purports to give, I
>>will design it that way. Quite easily, I might add. And without the
>>ensuing internal damage to all functions of the dbms.

> Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. A good logical model
> would be based on sparing use of the empty set, rather
> than on something like SQL's null, which taints most every
> calculation it takes part in.

It might or might not use an empty set. I suspect it would not in most cases.

>>>The semantics of SQL's
>>>null are well-defined, if rather clunky.
>>You and I use differing definitions of "well-defined".

> Is there some places in the SQL standard where
> the behavior of null is undefined? I admit I don't
> pay much attention to the standard.

The standard has been a mess for 15 years. It has grown into such a monstrosity, I doubt anyone can say for sure. However, the definitions for null contradict one another and tend to represent which of several different feature implementations in the field won out in committee.

>>  Since this is a design
>>>issue, the only way to validate that assertion is through
>>>HCI testing, which I don't expect either side to perform.
>>What makes you think I have not performed those tests? I have directly
>>observed hundreds of dbms users interacting with dbmses. I have been
>>paid large sums of money to 'solve' problems caused by nulls and
>>duplicate rows in existing designs. I have watched "hundred-million
>>dollar+" projects succeed or fail over such nonsense.

> Okay. Did you ever do any HCI testing? I expect not; it
> doesn't seem like something that would appeal to you.

With all due respect, what do you think HCI testing is other than observing users in action? Nielsen would recommend successive samples of about three users with intervening refinements in the user interface.

I suggest you stop making assumptions about me, which I generally take as projection in any case. You know absolutely nothing about what appeals to me, and I can say with certainty that you have been absolutely wrong in every assumption about me.

I have observed hundreds of dbms users interacting with dbmses. Sadly, the refinements have never come. Ostrich-like idiots keep denying the obvious problems instead of demanding real improvements in products. What behaviour have you been exhibiting recently?

>>I witnessed a hundred-million dollar family business that dominated its
>>market fail over such nonsense.

> I used to be quite pedantic around these kinds of issues
> as well, but my current position has turned me around.
> The company philosophy is that rough answers are better
> than no answers, and that mostly-right answers right now
> are better than exactly right answers too late.

'Too late' is exactly the problem that led to the downfall of the family business I mentioned. You speak from a position of total ignorance when you claim I am being pedantic. You look and sound ridiculous to me.

Don't be such an asshole and try a little harder to open your mind. Received on Wed Apr 26 2006 - 20:20:40 CDT

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