Re: atomic

From: Roy Hann <specially_at_processed.almost.meat>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 07:31:25 -0000
Message-ID: <>

"paul c" <> wrote in message news:T6RVi.162603$th2.137089_at_pd7urf3no...
>I know that Codd wrote his first "big" db paper in 1969. At that time I
>believe the understanding of physical atoms was simpler than it is today
>but the word "atomic" in most people's minds inherited the physics meaning.
> I wonder if 1NF would seem clearer if it were expressed in terms of
> "simplest" domains. I suppose there would still be people who would say
> "but if I look at this way, it's not so simple", eg., when they are
> talking about some compound key (versus composite key). But the rest of
> us might not get drawn into the confusions they offer.

It might seem clearer expressed in that way, but it wouldn't express what he needed to express. What he needed to express is the idea that none of his arguments depend on the internal structure of the values, which they don't, shouldn't, and can't.

1NF does not *require* that values be atomic. It asserts that values will be *treated as* atomic. Big difference. Essential difference.

Roy Received on Wed Oct 31 2007 - 08:31:25 CET

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