relational for what? [was: Design Principles Behind Smalltalk,
hstearns at wisc.edu
Tue Jan 2 21:16:22 UTC 2007
Of course. No question. Except, of course, where they don't. The 3-tier
enterprise software scenario is -- to me -- an example of it NOT working.
I used to write expert system software. A fellow once asked, "But
couldn't I do that with Fortran?" The answer was, "Yes, and you could do
it with pencil and paper, too, but you wouldn't want to."
There's a whole bunch of problems for which pencil and paper are good
enough, but maybe not ideal. Same for RDBMS. And there's all sorts of
practical considerations in this range. Worse is Better, End to End, and
whatever you like. No one is (I hope!) going to walk away from a
solution in-hand that is good enough.
There are also problems for which pencil and paper really aren't suited
for. Same for RDBMS. They can be made to work with the great expenditure
of resources, chewing gum, bailing wire, duct tape, vise grips, etc. And
half of all enterprise IT projects fail. And yet even with this
knowledge, there's still a 50% chance that you can make an RDBMS work on
the wrong kind of problem if you throw enough money at it.
What I'm trying to do -- and of course, this isn't a Squeak question at
all, but I hope it is a Squeak community question -- is try to learn
what domain a perfectly running RDBMS is a good fit for by design,
compared with a perfectly running alternative (even a hypothetical one).
Andreas Raab wrote:
> Howard Stearns wrote:
>> Yes, I'm quite serious. I'm asking what kinds of problems RDBMS are
>> uniquely best at solving (or at least no worse). I'm not asking
>> whether they CAN be used for this problem or that. I'm asking this
>> from an engineering/mathematics perspective, not a business ("we've
>> always done things this way" or "we like this vendor") perspective.
> The main benefit: They work. There is no question how to use them, apply
> them to problems, map them into different domains etc. This has all been
> worked out, there is nothing new to find out, just a book or two to
> read. From an engineering perspective that is vastly advantageous since
> it represents a solution with a proven track-record and no surprises.
> - Andreas
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Division of Information Technology
mailto:hstearns at wisc.edu
jabber:hstearns at wiscchat.wisc.edu
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