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Re: All hail Neo!

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: 30 Apr 2006 20:36:29 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Bob Badour wrote:
> Marshall Spight wrote:
> > What would you use instead? The decent tools that I'm aware
> > of are empty sets and tagged unions.
> And full normalization. Don't forget full normalization, which is always
> applicable whenever empty sets apply, and which I consider a better
> solution than empty sets.
> In some cases, I would use the type system to create special types akin
> to tagged unions.
> > You can get whatever
> > semantics you want from tagged unions and functions over
> > same. The behavior of fold (or aggregates) over incomplete
> > sets is well-defined; the functional programming crown has
> > beat fold to death. I don't see any reason for the system
> > to supply an UNKNOWN special value out of the box, but
> > as I say you can code one up if you want it.
> Yes, that's exactly my point. I don't want a dbms to incorporate some
> inconsistent and problematic silver bullet. If I want my types to have
> an unknown value, I will create them that way. The type system will
> enforce consistency while the dbms continues to use binary logic.

Plain text is notorious poor for conveying the presence or the absence of irony. So I want to explicitly tag the following paragraph as non-ironic:

I have changed my mind on this topic. I now agree with you that the empty-set solution is generally a poor one.

> Self reports are useless or worse than useless. I don't know where you
> get your ideas regarding HCI, but it sounds more like you got them from
> a book on UML than anything from the HCI community.


Lately, and over the years both, you have called me all manner of names, and linked me directly or indirectly with all manner of societal ills, such as anti-empiricism, a weak European response to Nazism and Islamic Fascism, 7th century pedophilia, and homeopathy. But I say to you sir, that you have crossed a line, yes, *crossed a line* I say, when you mention me at the same time as you mention UML.

Marshall Received on Sun Apr 30 2006 - 22:36:29 CDT

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