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Re: Idempotence and "Replication Insensitivity" are equivalent ?

From: Marshall <marshall.spight_at_gmail.com>
Date: 25 Sep 2006 08:41:30 -0700
Message-ID: <1159198890.298355.255830@i3g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>


Bob Badour wrote:
>
> If an attribute has no name, how are we to refer to it?

Do you know the term a "small matter of engineering?" Well, this is a "small matter of syntax." :-)

I can think of a few approaches.

The first and most comprehensive would be a quoting mechanism for identifiers, such as Haskell uses. This would allow one to, for example, have identifier names with spaces, or empty identifiers, or other otherwise-hard-to-parse identifiers. This would also insulate one from differences in legal identifiers as one crossed language boundaries.

Another approach would be the use of syntactic rules that would allow one to simply omit the name. For example, if name declaration was always of the form "name:type" then the colon could be used as the definitive indication of a declaration, and the name could simply be optional.

Still another shortcut would be the ability to omit the name when referring to relations with an unnamed attribute:

update Table 5 where id = 11; -- sets the unnamed attribute

Just some ideas. Whether these are good ideas or not depends on the entirety of the laguage design.

Marshall Received on Mon Sep 25 2006 - 10:41:30 CDT

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