Sunday, March 26, 2017

This Week

1. What's wrong with this picture?

"Things get more complex when NULLable columns are used in expressions and predicates. In a procedural language, this wouldn’t have been a problem--if a procedural program fails to find the information it needs, it enters a conditional branch to handle this situation, as defined by the programmer. In a declarative, set-based language such as SQL, this was not possible. The alternatives were either to have the SQL developer add conditional expressions for each nullable column in a query to handle missing data, or to define a decent default behavior in SQL for missing data so that developers only have to write explicit conditional expressions if they need to override the default behavior." Hugo Kornelis, NULL - The database's black hole

(Nothing wrong with Hugo's picture--in fact, I highly recommend the series of which the source of this quote is one part--only with SQL's picture of relational treatment of missing data).

2. Quote of the Week 

(The consequence of practical experience without foundation knowledge: inability to recognize a sound theoretical foundation and distinguish it from its misuse and abuse that exploits ignorance thereof).
"During this time I watched in horror as team after team put the database at the center of their system. They had been convinced by the endless marketing hype that the data model was the most important aspect of the architecture, and that the database was the heart and soul of the design ... I railed endlessly against the practice of moving all business rules into stored procedures ... I hammered and hammered as I saw tables and rows permeating the source code of system after system. I hammered out danger. I hammered out a warning. I hammered out that the schema had become “The Blob”, consuming everything in sight.
And then, in the first decade of the 21st century, the prohibition was lifted, and the NOSQL movement was born. I considered it a kind of miracle, a light shining forth in the wilderness. Finally, someone realized that there might just be some systems in the world that did not require a big, fat, horky, slow, expensive, bodily effluent, memory hog of a relational database! I watched in glee as I saw BigTable, Mongo, CouchDB, and all the other cute little data storage systems begin to spring up; like little micro-breweries in the ‘80s. The beer was back! And it was starting to taste good ... The center of your application is not the database. Nor is it one or more of the frameworks you may be using. The center of your application are the use cases of your application ... But then I noticed something. Some of the systems using these nice, simple, tasty, non-relational databases were being designed around those databases. The database, wrapped in shiny new frameworks, was still sitting at the center of the design! That poisonous old relational marketing hype was still echoing through the minds of the designers. They were still making the fatal mistake." --Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin,

3. To Laugh or Cry?

4. Of Interest

5. The first paper in the new UNDERSTANDING OF THE REAL RDM series, Interpretation and Representation of Database Relations, is available for ordering here.



7. Housekeeping

  • I have added labels for search categories and re-labeled all 1916-17 posts. Time permitting I may re-label the earlier posts.
  • Every other week I debunk a new item in a new post, or revise an old post to bring it in line with McGoveran's interpretation of Codd's true RDM; I strongly recommend you re-read the revisions.
  • Request for help: At some point I lost my ability to comment in Blogger, regardless of what browser, Windows version, or hardware I use. There is no such thing as Google support and nobody in the Blogger Help Forum has been able to figure out the problem and a solution. If you have any ideas, please contact me. Thanks.

And now for something completely different

New at The PostWest: America Does Not Have a Healthcare System, But a Sham. Only the Rich Do.

When inequality reaches an acute level, a healthy public is more dangerous than a sick one, so if you're wealthy, you malevolently withhold healthcare.

Upside down and backwards

Islamophobia is fuelling terrorism, says UN chief

Reality Check

Caught My Eye

Book of the Week (Order via this link to support this site)

Anti-semitism? Nah, just criticism of Israel policies.

The Palestinians: Nice people, let's give them a state

Note: I will not publish or respond to anonymous comments. If you want to say something, stand behind it. Otherwise don't bother, it'll be ignored.

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