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MySQL Extra Tables vs Type Field


jimmyoneshot

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but I'm not saying that the strength of the hammer is based on its size.  I just grabbed another hammer.  It could have been a smaller one.  BUt I originally chose the smaller one because it was easier to swing -- I'm a wimp.  When it didn't work, I moved to the next easiest option.  You'll recall that I started with my own shoe, so I wouldn't need to go and find the tool box.

I get it. You choose tools according to your needs and purpose.

 

Nobody can force you to use what you do not want to use, that is plain.

 

The problem, however, is that people don't recognize that they have already a very powerful tool

at their use (the relational DBMS). Why they didn't recognise it, is precisely because of lack of appreciation for relational theory. And the consequence of not recognising it is that people tend to misuse it. Worse, they tend to reinvent things, w/c could have already been addressed by the tool in question. Thus, inefficient and ineffective use and creation. Wasted time and money - in practical terms.

 

Second, the tool they have is not yet perfect. It is not yet a "full-blown hammer", so to speak. Yes it can "hammer" things. The point is: it could have been a finer tool if the "theory on creating hammers" (in this case, relational model) was used in building and using it.

 

Why they didn't recognise that, is again precisely because of lack of appreciation for relational theory. Thus, time and money could have been saved - in practical terms.

 

 

But I do agree with you (wow) that had I considered the hammer's size, and intentionally chose a bigger and "therefore" more suitable hammer, that we'd be in agreement regarding a database.  But I didn't consider the hammer's size.

 

Instead, I just went for random arbitrary choice.  And I think most people do in most situations.  In fact, I think everyone does in every situation when it comes to problems with what they believe to be not the core thing that they are doing.  So a painter would choose the correct paint brush using theory, but someone using a paint brush as a door-stop would not care which paint brush they used -- even as it pertains to being a door stop.  They'd just grab any brush and hope it worked.

You see, the situation you tried to "paint" is very broad, thus it is difficult to stay relevant.

 

In this case - remember that the topic is about relational databases - we do not have a choice.

Since MySQL (and most DBMSes) are labeled as relational databases then it follows that they are based on relational theory. Thus, we have no choice but to know the theory/science behind such technology.

 

If we do not do so, again, inefficiency and ineffectivity of use and creation of such technology naturally follows, speaking from the point of view of relational theory.

 

If most DBMS didn't label themselves as relational AND they didn't follow the principles of relational databases, then it is just right.

 

But it is not the case. What we have here is basically like this: a product that is labelled as "A" but is actually "B". Now, people will start expecting that the product will behave like "A"; but then it cannot, so confusion arises, misinformation, and all the undesirable consequences that are derived from such. In practical terms, money and time wasted.

 

So when a web-site programmer grabs a database to house 10 kilobytes of data, he really doesn't care about the database in any real way -- it's all about the html to him -- so he doesn't do any theory effort at all.  When he later starts storing thousands of records, then that becomes the real job, and theory starts to be beneficial.  And when it grows further, then theory is required. 

That is what I was assuming all along. Sooner or later you will need theory.  When there is still a chance to avoid that, why start late when one can start early, right?

 

That's the road that I took with my business.  And it actually allowed me to get really creative and very innovative quite early-on, because I didn't get trapped by common mistakes just because they were common, nor by techniques that weren't known to be mistakes for another couple of years.  I wasn't trapped in the same box as everyone else.  It opened many doors for me.  I also learned exactly which elements of the theory applied to precisely which problems I was having as I resolved them -- something that most theory-driven people never learn, because they never get to have those problems so close to them.

 

I don't think that "most theory-driven people never learn, because they never get to have those problems so close to them" is true. Most "theory-driven people" chose to be "theory-driven" because they have first hand experience with problems that are very practical and real.

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"why start late when one can start early, right?" -- because it costs to start early, and you may never need to go all the way.

 

"we do not have a choice" -- we do.  we can choose not to go relational, or we can choose to build our own.  I do that.

 

"Since MySQL (and most DBMSes) are labeled as relational databases then it follows that they are based on relational theory. Thus, we have no choice but to know the theory/science behind such technology." -- that doesn't follow.  just because it's named, doesn't mean we need to care.  And it can be named after a goal that wasn't achieved, or after a plan that wasn't accomplished, or even after something that it isn't.  it's just a name.

 

"they have first hand experience with problems that are very practical and real." -- most theory-driven people have been taught by people with first hand experience.  most theory-driven people have nothing but other people's stories.

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"why start late when one can start early, right?" -- because it costs to start early, and you may never need to go all the way.

That is a subjective opinion. You are not the only IT professional in this field. Different situations call for different approaches. Maybe in your case you need not be acquainted w/ theory. But in general

theory is still applicable to you - you just chose not to acknowledge such fact.

 

we can choose not to go relational, or we can choose to build our own.  I do that.

The fact that you are using MySQL means that you DID NOT "build your own".

Of course one can choose "not to go relational," but by then s/he will be missing its benefits.

 

...just because it's named, doesn't mean we need to care.  And it can be named after a goal that wasn't achieved, or after a plan that wasn't accomplished, or even after something that it isn't.  it's just a name.

Really?

Then why call something "relational" when in fact it isn't? Why call someone a "King" when he is in fact a "slave"? What is the motivation? To humiliate? To mislead people? To malign known useful theories?

 

I doubt that.

 

They named it as such, because they want to implement the theory. So far, they are doing good - but much is still needed to be implemented.

 

 

most theory-driven people have been taught by people with first hand experience.  most theory-driven people have nothing but other people's stories.

A claim that cannot be verified, and thus must not be taken seriously.

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@ebmigue: we're really trying to have productive discussions with you.

 

But, for some unknown reason, you reject any and all of our opinions just because they cannot be "verified" -- but you expect us to take your "claims" seriously.

 

That's not how a discussion works -- everyone is on equal footing -- no one should cry foul, or wield theory as a magic proof of validity.

 

When you said "I get it. You choose tools according to your needs and purpose." -- I thought that this discussion would come to a fruitful end.  But yet to don't seem to be able to extrapolate from a hammer (tool #1) to a database (tool #2).

 

At this point, the OP's thread has been severely hijacked -- remember, the initial comments & remarks were on-topic -- so I'm going to close this thread in due time.  For all we know, the OP didn't even get a solution and has abandoned their request.

 

If you'd like to have a discussion on your "theories", then perhaps start your own thread instead.

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@ebmigue: we're really trying to have productive discussions with you.

Me, too. Though there were instances where I was called names and insulted, I don't mind really. But of course, I hope you won't mind too if I did retaliate a little.

 

But, for some unknown reason, you reject any and all of our opinions just because they cannot be "verified" -- but you expect us to take your "claims" seriously.

The opinions usually invoked by others do have counter-opinions, and thus accepting them will not lead to harmony and a fruitful discussion. That is the sense in w/c such ideas cannot be "verified."  That is why they have to be dismissed as "unverifiable."

 

Yes, I expect that my claims will be taken seriously, for the same reason that you want your claims regarding the "usefulness or uselessness of theory" should be taken seriously.

 

In the end, it is the reader who will choose whose reasons are more coherent and sound, and thus to accept .

Let them do their work.

 

That's not how a discussion works -- everyone is on equal footing -- no one should cry foul, or wield theory as a magic proof of validity.

Again, I do not intend to be condescending. But sometimes the arguments given are not coherent and reasonable, that one must notify the arguer about it - albeit tactlessly. I apologise for the lack of tact. But only that.

 

As far as the person in question is concerned, I treat him/her as an equal. That is why I preferred to discuss ideas here in the first place.

 

I did not even intend that using theory will be "a magic proof of validity." Theory is not magic; it is science. It is verifiable and based on human reason and experiences. On the contrary, I am promoting, not a "dogmatic/religious/magical" mindset but a scientific one, based on reason and the scientific tradition.

 

When you said "I get it. You choose tools according to your needs and purpose." -- I thought that this discussion would come to a fruitful end.  But yet to don't seem to be able to extrapolate from a hammer (tool #1) to a database (tool #2).

I don't know what you mean.

 

A hammer and a DMBS are the same only in the sense that they are tools -- and only that.

 

At this point, the OP's thread has been severely hijacked -- remember, the initial comments & remarks were on-topic -- so I'm going to close this thread in due time.  For all we know, the OP didn't even get a solution and has abandoned their request.

I was satisfied overall w/ the discussion. We cannot know if the OP did or did not get his solution - he ceased replying anyway.

 

 

If this thread "went astray" that was only because I was defending the criticism of my suggestion, w/c is to learn theory (in this case, DB normalization).

 

Had such suggestion not been criticized (dismissed as impractical), I would not have defended it.

 

If you'd like to have a discussion on your "theories", then perhaps start your own thread instead.

I don't think that would be a good idea, since there are many books that do that. And it is not "my theories." A lot of them had contributed

to it - for 40 years now.

 

I will content myself by noting relevant principles when it is very obvious that a problem/question posted is caused by lack of knowledge (or appreciation) of the applicable theory. When a user is complaining why he can't divide 1 by 0, surely, the wisest thing to do is to point him to axioms in arithmetic, right? I would like "to get to the bottom of things" so to speak.

 

I hope you won't have a problem w/ that.

 

Thank you and hope it helps.

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