Re: What databases have taught me

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 13:56:53 GMT
Message-ID: <FIRng.2480$>

Frans Bouma wrote:
> Bob Badour wrote:

>>topmind wrote:
>>>>>I can't think of a single statement that would be more
>>>>>antithetical to what the OO paradigm is about.
>>>>Thank you for stepping forward to exemplify my recent statement
>>>>that use of the word 'paradigm' is the surest sign of a
>>>>self-aggrandizing ignorant. After all, 'paradigm' has many
>>>>meanings where for each meaning a better word exists.
>>>>OO is a computational model and not a paradigm unless by
>>>>'paradigm' one means an example of a computational model. Idiot.
>>>>Further, it is a computational model comprising a collection of
>>>>features useful for constructing large unpredictable state
>>>>machines from small predictable state machines or otherwise
>>>>picked arbitrarily in the mid to late 1960's for what seemed
>>>>expedient at the time.
>>>Lighten up, guys. "Paradigm" might not be precise, but few words
>>>are in software design.
>>Bullshit. Most of the words used have very precise definitions if one
>>bothers to learn them. See ISO/IEC 2382 for instance.
>>The end product of design is necessarily precise. Can you imagine
>>someone designing a building around having "some of those electric
>>plug in thingies and some sort of light bulb thingie or other in
>>every room" ? I can see the estimate from the builder for that design
>>coming back: "That'll cost you some money--you know some of those
>>colorful pieces of paper they let you exchange for thingies down at
>>the store."

> Though it's also a language thing. In my native language, Dutch, we
> have the same word for Relation and Relationship. This is common in a
> lot of the european languages. This gives problems when you discuss
> elements of a relational model: one would use the same word for two
> fundamental different elements in the relational model.

Relationship has no particular meaning in the relational model--other than perhaps as an artificial distinction in one or another of Codd's early papers and now of interest only as an historical footnote.

My Wolter's is packed up somewhere. Is 'association' the same word too? Is 'reference' the same word too?

  If a person
> who's native language contains one word for Relation and Relationship
> has to write an english text, like a newsposting, it can be that the
> person uses the wrong word, as the person just knows one word for both:
> to do it correctly, you have to know that in English there are two
> words, not one.

With all due respect, Dijkstra shared your mother tongue and he noted exactly the opposite:

 From _My Hopes of Computing Science_ EWD 709

"One more remark about language that seems relevant. With English being computing science's Esperanto, colleagues with English as their native tongue often feel somewhat guilty about what they regard as their undeserved advantage over most foreigners. Their feeling of guilt is misplaced, because the advantage is ours. It is very helpful to have to do your work in what always remains a foreign language, as it forces you to express yourself more consciously. (About the most excellent prose written in our field that I can think of, is to be found in aforementioned ALGOL 60 Report: its editor had the great advantage of being, besides brilliant, a Dane. I have always felt that much of the stability and well-deserved fame of ALGOL 60 could be traced down directly to the inexorable accuracy of Peter Naur's English.)"

April 1979

> This just as an example how a person could end up choosing the wrong
> word for a term where a person would have picked a different word if
> the person would have been a native speaker of the target language.

That's not the case here. Besides, someone who learns a technical term from a foreign perspective is far more likely to learn its precise meaning than a native speaker who grew their understanding of the term organically when still a toddler.

> agree that definitions, if set in stone, should be followed, but I also
> find that if both parties in a discussion know from eachother what the
> other means by a given word W, bickering over definitions is IMHO
> making the discussion impossible.

That's my whole point, though. I don't know what the hell the ignorant was trying to say. You don't either. Not really. The fuzzy imprecise bullshit has a specific meaning to you, and you project that meaning onto those words. However, there is no evidence to suggest that any two people will project the same meaning.

Because you project the meaning, whatever meaning you project will seem self-evident and true to you. This works out great for the self-aggrandizing ignorants because they don't have to think or deliver anything of value. They need only spout important-sounding gibberish to leave an impression of profound insight and near infallibility. They are almost guaranteed a response of "Yeah! That's right!" because the meaning actually comes from the listener himself.

What the self-aggrandizing ignorants write is nonsense: on its face, it is nonsense.

>>>I suggest you try to focus on more practical issues, such as
>>>comparing solutions to realistic scenarios rather than get bogged
>>>down in a definition battle.
>>Why? The idiot is a self-aggrandizing ignorant and a snake-oil
>>salesman. He has nothing to offer, and I have no intention of wasting
>>much of my time on that sort of charlatan.

> What saddens me a bit is that instead of having an open discussion
> about the core topic, you find it necessary to insult people which IMHO
> only kill off the discussion. I'm not sure if that's your intention,
> though it looks like it.

Killing off discussions with charlatans and snake-oil salesmen, like yoursel, is a public good. The only useful discussion with such a crook is the discussion that reveals them for what they are.

> The thing is that in every day life, thousands of developers have to
> face the problem of the mismatch between the language they (have to)
> work with and the nature of the persistent storage they (have to) work
> with.

Bullshit. The thing is that in every day life, tens of thousands of developers are practising their craft without the requisite knowledge, education and skill. They choose to work with shitty tools mostly on the basis of fashion or fads.

  Making a discussion about said problem impossible by insulting
> people without any reason, is not helping these developers. But maybe
> you're not interested in solving these developer's problem.

You are making a fallacious ad hominem argument. I insult you because you are an ignorant crook with snake-oil to sell. Your posts reveal you for what you are. Your argument is that, because I insult you, I have no interest in helping your victims. That's completely non sequitur and absurd. Received on Mon Jun 26 2006 - 15:56:53 CEST

Original text of this message