Re: Object-oriented thinking in SQL context?

From: David BL <>
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 03:22:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On Jun 17, 3:50 am, Bob Badour <> wrote:

> Bob has no control over anything. The self-aggrandizing ignorants,
> snake-oil salesmen and charlatans can write whatever they want on
> usenet, and I can reply to them however I see fit.

Indeed, and if we take censorship to mean something physically forced then I completely agree that Bob cannot censor anyone. However, many people shy away from being the target of insults (even fallacious ones) so the practical effect is similar at least. Anyway I think my censorship argument is not very well conceived so I won't push it.

I think insults at the right time and place can be a good thing. A good insult must normally be true. If it's a fact that someone is a VI then it's better for everyone if they find out. My complaint is that even though Bob's very conservative with technical matters, he can be too quick to judge posters. He underestimates some people. In addition many of his insults involve speculation rather than simply stating the observable facts. For example, his catch phrase "selfaggrandizing  ignorant" typically speculates that the poster is mainly concerned with their personal grandeur. Apparently the more measureable term VI is not mocking enough. That's my interpretation anyway.

I enjoyed that link that Walter posted recently. A particularly apt quote for me was one by Bertrand Russel:

    "Men are born ignorant, not stupid.
    They are made stupid by education."

This must surely be the biggest problem in the IT industry. How many programmers are very clever, ignorant of the basics, and don't even know it? It's convenient to say they're innately stupid, but it doesn't ring true to me. In any case if someone is innately stupid then only a deeply flawed character would take pleasure in that. To be clear, I'm not accusing Bob of this.

When someone is very ignorant and not aware of that ignorance, they are likely to be a VI when posting to cdt. That doesn't necessarily mean they're intellectually dishonest. It probably just means they're in the quagmire of a poor education, and more to the point they've been deceived. This is not surprising given the amount of crap out there.

I suggest in as friendly a way as possible, single out only a tiny part of their post that's incorrect, refer them to very specific literature, and tactfully suggest they continue the discussion after they've done the required reading. This gives them enough rope to reveal intellectual dishonesty, if it exists.

> It's true I do report spam to the originating service, but that's the
> only censorship I attempt.
> I identify the idiots and their nonsense; I don't suppress them. I have
> no means to even if I wanted to.

The argument in favour of Bob's vitriol what that it suppresses the idiots and their nonsense.

> Academic publishing, on the other hand, does practise censorship through
> the peer review process. That censorship is a cornerstone of academic
> collegialism. At one time, that collegialism spilled over into usenet,
> but 1995 happened: September never ends.

I agree.

> >>I came here because I'm researching the concurrent editing of data
> >>using Operational Transform (OT). I'm interested in recursive data
> >>types that for example are associated with scene graphs.
> I suggest a more appropriate venue might be

I'm more interested in db theory than scene graphs. Also, recursive types are applicable to many things - e.g. rich text documents.

In the future I can imagine OT (or an equivalent that supports fully asynchronous and distributed updates) will be seen to be fundamental to db theory.

Google have big ideas for OT. Expect it to become more main stream. There's even been a Wikipedia article on it for some time now.

> >>Unfortunately Bob has been so effective at "cleansing" this NG it is
> >>difficult to get anything but D&D viewpoints here. Someone interested
> >>in a domain like CAD and interested in recursive data types would be
> >>viewed as an OO loving idiot by Bob and not last long here. He
> >>attacks people that may actually have something interesting to say.
> That's demonstrably false.

I think one problem is that the people that require support for recursive types don't get adequate support in today's RDBMS products (or simply assume the RM is inapplicable), and therefore come to cdt using wrong or imprecise terminology (e.g. talking about the benefits of OODBs).

> Paul brings up the topic of recursive types
> here periodically. It's not my fault they are not as profound or as
> complicated as some folks want them to be. It's not my fault the
> relational model with relation valued attributes handles them so simply
> and so elegantly.
> Granted, I would tend more for normal referential integrity and the
> close operation.

Referential integrity in the form of simple PK and FK constraints seem inadequate for modelling recursive types in many cases.

> >>His only interesting contribution was a reference to a paper by Jim
> >>Gray that claimed update anywhere-anytime-anyway transactional
> >>replication was inherently unable to scale because reconciliations
> >>grow with cubic order. However in reality Bob was just a VI, and
> >>that's the part I find so ironic. He was unaware of the literature on
> >>OT and the sense in which Gray's result was inapplicable (even the
> >>abstract mentions that commutative update transactions avoid the
> >>instability), and yet pretended to be an authority on the subject.
> Perhaps someone could point me to anywhere I have ever claimed to be an
> authority on anything. I suggest it is hard to pretend anything without
> ever declaring or even suggesting it.

Ok point taken, Bob only appeared to pretend to be an authority on the subject. I'm not joking, I mean that sincerely, I don't think Bob is dishonest and my phraseology was unfortunate. Received on Wed Jun 17 2009 - 12:22:32 CEST

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