Re: WWW/Internet 2009: 2nd CFP until 21 September

From: Walter Mitty <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 17:49:52 GMT
Message-ID: <45Zfm.1557$>

"paul c" <> wrote in message news:vNXfm.38495$Db2.20491_at_edtnps83...
> Walter Mitty wrote:
>> ...
>> The relational view of data as regards data in transit over a network
>> extends the scope of discussion of the relational model beyond the scope
>> contemplated in 1970. The discussion in 1970 and for many years
>> afterwards focussed on the application of the relational model to the
>> organization of data banks for large scale sharing of data. Large scale
>> sharing of data is increasingly being carried out by shipping data over
>> the network from one system to another. Any databases involved are in
>> the background.
>> ...
> In the 1960's, let alone the 1970's, "large scale sharing of data" by
> people was already a given requirement, no matter whether the vehicle was
> hierarchies or graph designs. The more urgent problem, recognized even by
> the Codasyl people, was sharing of data by applications..

First, I've always taken the word "user" in the 1970 paper to apply to an application program, or to a fairly transparent command and print utility, or to a human using the database as mediated by either an application of a utility program. My reading might not have been careful enough.

Second, as to whether sharing was a given requirement or not, I'd have to say that it depended on who you talked to. A large part of my career from 1985 through 1999 consisted not only in enabling people to share data, but in convincing people of the merits of doing so. In almost every client company there was a large faction that stood to lose, or thought so, if data sharing prevailed. Even today, I'd say that over half of the databases being built in SQL server are planned for use only by a single application inside which the database is to be embedded. Any use of the data by other applications, or even by general purpose report generators or OLAP environments is to be done through the app's API.

The fact that such a view is monstrously naive doesn't prevent it from being the majority view. Add to that the marketing plan that says that the client has no choice but to return to us for access to their own data, and you have the road to hell, well paved. Received on Mon Aug 10 2009 - 12:49:52 CDT

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