Re: storing survey answers of different data types

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 00:17:30 -0300
Message-ID: <49f12f4c$0$5499$>

Joe Thurbon wrote:

> On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:17:57 +1000, Bob Badour
> <> wrote:

>> Joe Thurbon wrote:
>>> On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 03:32:22 +1000, Bob Badour  
>>> <>  wrote:
>>>  [...]
>>>> My name is Bob, I have property in Canada, my house is 114 years old.
>>>> {name=Bob,place=Canada,age=114)
>>>> Different questionnaires. Different tables. A column for each  
>>>> question.  A row for each respondent. All described neatly in the  
>>>> system catalog.
>>>  My name is Joe, I have property in Australia, my house if 40 years old.
>>>  Just wondering, if one of the requirements for a system included
>>> something like 'Be able to list all questionnaires', would
>>> you still consider one-table-per-questionairre a reasonable design?
>> Absolutely. It's a simple query from the system catalog.

> Am I right in saying that there is no standard structure for the
> system catalog? (Not that that is really germane in a theory newsgroup)

I don't know. I don't bother with the SQL standard much. To a certain extent, one might expect the system catalog to reflect the implementation of the dbms making each implementation dependent.

>>> I think that there is a more abstract question trying to get out
>>> of my head. Maybe it's: 'When relations become things that
>>> have facts asserted about them, should one stop treating them as
>>> relations, and normalise further?" (where normalise is almost certainly
>>> the wrong word, but I'm not sure what the right one is.)
>> You must not be phrasing that well. All interesting relations have 
>> facts  asserted about them. Degree. Cardinality. Functional 
>> dependencies. etc.

> Of course, you are right.
> Which unfortunately means that my question is now going to have to be
> asked as a series of problems.
> (I've just snipped such a problem from this post, because my reply
> to Gene in this thread ended up being a more succinct description of it).
> Cheers,
> Joe
Received on Thu Apr 23 2009 - 22:17:30 CDT

Original text of this message