[FoRK] Databases... XML too...
Gavin Thomas Nicol
gtn at rbii.com
Sat Sep 11 18:26:35 PDT 2004
On Aug 27, 2004, at 3:23 AM, J.Andrew Rogers wrote:
> There is a progression when learning how to build real databases that
> many people never complete. At some point, you learn all the theory
> of normalization and ideal database design, and apparently Professor W
> has taken it to heart. Unfortunately, at this point you are still a
> total amateur because becoming a working professional is all about
> learning that the theory is broken in practice in that the model
> doesn't even consider runtime trade-offs and dynamics, which are far
> more important to business than having some ivory tower notion of the
> perfect schema.
FWIW. This is the *exact* same thing you find with XML. In fact, a lot
of the nonsense around XML comes from people, and largish groups,
making assumptions based on skewed or no practical experience
(namespaces and schemas spring to mind).
I used to teach SGML DTD courses years ago, and used to use a phonebook
as the data, and then ask people to write a DTD for it (for the idea
from Mulberry). It is almost impossible to capture a phone book in a
completely normalized form, and the DTD ends up being difficult to use
and difficult to understand. After a day of banging your head on it,
your learn the lesson of ideal vs. practical DTD design...
More information about the FoRK