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Re: What databases have taught me

From: Bob Badour <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 00:58:31 GMT
Message-ID: <X60ng.1337$pu3.36020@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca>


topmind wrote:

> Neo wrote:
>

>>>As some are pointing out now, OOP designs to not have to be hierarchical. However, outside of hierarchies, OO tends to lose its selling point. It is just a bunch of nodes (objects) with pointers to link them up, a big graph.
>>
>>I agree. In cases where data is highly structured, representing them
>>with a RMDB provides many advantages. However in cases where data is
>>highly unstructured, representing them with a RMDB can also become more
>>difficult and starts to lose some of its advantages.

>
> I am not sure I agree with that. I will agree that existing RDBMS
> brands make dynamism harder than it has to be, but that is only part of
> the issue.
>
> Unstructured *anything* is going to be a bit difficult to use with any
> kind of automation. If "Name", "L_name", "Last_Name" are attributes all
> mixed together, for example, it will be tough to do any kind of
> coherant processing because a machine is not going to know that these
> are perhaps the same thing or related.

As Fabian Pascal points out, information devoid of structure is noise. Without structure, data can have no perceptable meaning.

> One can dump everything into an "attribute table" if there is no
> classification or "slot" for something, for example. Arbitrary graphs
> with arbitrary attributes can be created using a couple of many-to-many
> tables. If you really want a big blob of sloppy or
> inconsistently-labelled stuff, relational can model such. (Many
> on-server file systems I encounter are such messes, for example.
> Perhaps this is why the likes of Google exist.)
>
> However, I am not saying that relational is best for every structuring
> need; just the majority of what I encounter in my domain.

I think the focus on structure to the exclusion of manipulation is a mistake. Presumably, if you think a different formalism sometimes surpasses the relational model, the formalism must provide manipulation as well as structure. What formalisms are you thinking of? Received on Fri Jun 23 2006 - 19:58:31 CDT

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