Re: Theory and practice

From: JOG <>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 09:54:56 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Mar 7, 5:13 pm, Marshall <> wrote:
> On Mar 7, 7:10 am, Bob Badour <> wrote:
> > Marshall wrote:
> > > On Mar 7, 4:27 am, "David Cressey" <> wrote:
> > >>There was a topic in this newsgroup about 4 years ago entitled "Stupid
> > >>database tricks".
> > > I will never forget that thread as long as I live.
> > What was most memorable about it?
> I don't know if I can fully convey the depth of feeling that
> thread brought me.
> I had been working with SQL long enough that it was starting
> to really gel for me. I really felt like I had a solid handle on it,
> not just *how* to make it do stuff but *why* doing things one
> way worked well and doing things a different way didn't work
> well. Call me a solid journeyman at that point; a promising
> intermediate, perhaps.
> And I was starting to notice: people don't *get* it. It seemed like
> no one got it. People I knew who I respected wanted to have
> globally unique keys, or they wanted every table to have a
> single integer primary key, even wanting to add them to tables
> that were just two-fk join tables. Any of a host of crazy things.
> One can just read the current thread with comp.object for
> more examples.
> I had only two hypotheses: either the entire world was mad, or
> I was. Neither possibility was appealing.
> Then that thread happened. And suddenly it was clear: I'm not
> alone! Other people have the exact same problems, the same
> frustrations. Even better: some of them are a lot further along
> in this process, and I can learn from them. I am not speaking
> of the problems of database theory, you understand. I am
> speaking of the Curse of Cassandra.
> Maybe it has become exaggerated in hindsight. Or perhaps
> more likely, that thread has become emblematic of the entire
> years-long process that I went through; shrunk in the machine
> press of memory to a single cubic foot of twisted metal.
> Still, when I run into those don't-get-it people, what appears
> in my mind's eye is David Letterman, speaking in the voice
> of David Cressey, reading off a five-by-eight index card,
> dramatically and ironically announcing over a drumroll:
> "And the number one stupid database trick: enforcing
> integrity in the application."
> And the audience applauds thunderously, and I am they
> and they are I.

Waiter, I'll have a bit of whatever Marshall's just had please.

> Marshall
Received on Fri Mar 07 2008 - 18:54:56 CET

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