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Re: Objects and Relations

From: Cimode <>
Date: 14 Feb 2007 07:31:27 -0800
Message-ID: <>

On Feb 14, 4:14 pm, "Roy Hann" <specia..._at_processed.almost.meat> wrote:
> "Bob Badour" <> wrote in message
> news:2aFAh.6379$
> >> And that's it. That's how we work everyday. If we ever have to do deal
> >> with items that are indistinguishable by anything but physical
> >> location (or any characteristic we can't keep track of), we tag them
> >> with a surrogate identifier to represent their unique nature. It's
> >> just common sense really.
> >> As an addendum, once implemented a surrogate key becomes a natural
> >> key. I find this fascinating - it seems somehow analagous to "Nature
> >> abhoring a vacuum".
> > I think it has more to do with the human drive to communicate.
> I struggle with that. If, for some reason, I choose to say (just) that, "I
> have a tin of cat food, and its name shall be 1345235", what have I
> communicated? No one in the real world could ever point it out and say,
> "Hey! There goes 1345235." And nor could I.
In Practical Issues, Fabian Pascal stated that there is no such thing as a natural primary key. And even *a tin of catfood* was at some point in time a subjective choice to identify the object that is the *tin of catfood*. Instead of describing the object according to a unique combination of attributes, collective intelligence selected a term for that which constituted a surrogate key. Later on the name of the object is so familiar that people make it a natural key.

By extension, we could state that a any natural key was at some point in time a surrogate key. We could perceive a natural key as a succesfull surrogate key...

Synonyms are the proof that designation of things are a part of a selection process that may be faulty sometimes.

> Roy
Received on Wed Feb 14 2007 - 09:31:27 CST

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