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Re: Constraints and Functional Dependencies

From: paul c <>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 23:33:40 GMT
Message-ID: <opJFh.1197056$R63.538416@pd7urf1no>

Bob Badour wrote:
> Why then do I know so many physicists in the software field?

Money. There's more of it in that game. Same reason there is such a high proportion of phonies in software.

The most honest physicist I met told me he went into headhunting after some years because he realized he would always be mediocre compared to the elite physicists. I've met one or two software types who would have been brilliant had they followed their majors and gone into chemistry or engineering but they would have been poorer. Another who dropped out of highschool at age fourteen to program a mainframe full-time. The school board gave permission because it was their mainframe. None of these people had a way with words but they expressed themselves very clearly with a small vocabulary. Had theirs been bigger, I am certain they would have found that unnecessary for the purposes they chose.

When I complained about a technical developer's contradictory memos, I was told that he didn't go to university to learn English. Same group, averaging more than two degrees per person, mostly North American plus a Russian or two, wrote 140 page design document for a very limited GUI translator, after being asked for ten. A quick scan was enough to see it was pure gibberish. Company president claimed he had mastered it all in 90 minutes and would fund it. His major had been basketball. I told him I wouldn't read it until they told me which page the design was on.   Asked where the engine was, he turned around to the flunkies and said "Well, where's the engine?".

That problem was an order or two of magnitude smaller than the one Codd took eleven pages to describe in 1970 but which created a sensation within the small audience it got then. Yet Codd was said by some to write obscurely. Date gets deserved credit for his breadth of theoretical and practical knowledge. I would say just as much is due to his ability to express himself clearly (except for the Latin, of course).

Contrast those two with Celko who given a fifteen word description, using conventional cdt verbiage, of a very simple relation, feels it relevant today to mention the "lowest units", whatever they might be, of a data model and to speak of the "container level", whatever that might be. Based on his history, I'd say whatever they might be today will likely be different tomorrow and whatever that is, it's not likely to have much to do with the topic. Or Dawn who first says that TTM refers to "logical navigation" and then that she is the only person who uses the term. Who says to the effect that "navigation vs declaration" is an incorrect "assessment". What the hell are they talking about? If they were granted degrees I believe they have a good case for getting their money back plus damages and costs. Not just those two - if there is a budding young lawyer out there looking for a goldmine, a certain one is class-action lawsuits against the irresponsible granting of degrees to millions of people, let alone high-school matriculations.

p Received on Thu Mar 01 2007 - 17:33:40 CST

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