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Re: OO and RDBMS

From: Christopher Browne <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: OO and RDBMS
Date: 2003-09-25 12:40:14
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
merlin(dot)moncure(at)rcsonline(dot)com ("Merlin Moncure") writes:
> As a follower of the advocacy list, I feel compelled to make a few
> observations about the above post.  Perhaps I'm speaking to the choir,
> but I am passionate about this subject, and I always astounded about the
> sheer volumn of misinformation that abounds!  

I browsed the Purveyor posts on /., and there certainly were some good
comments made.

There are several drawbacks to the would-be-superior system

 - It only provides fairly weak transactional "guarantees."

   Yes, any one transaction can can be rolled back, but it does
   not appear to extend past that.  Which is fine for a single
   user system, but not for multiuser.

 - It doesn't do anything about managing domain typing.

   The increasing support in PG7.4 for CREATE DOMAIN is something that
   should surely be trumpeted as a strengthening of relational
   modelling.  Purveyor...  Doesn't do this...

 - One of the most significant merits of the relational model is that
   it allows data access paths that weren't necessarily planned for.

   If I need to look at all the transaction records generated between
   March 10th and April 15th, that have some other oddball
   characteristics, I need only /describe/ the query, and a relational
   system can do the query.  It may not be particularly efficient in
   the absence of a useful index, but that may well not matter.

   In contrast, "object systems" are by and large a throwback to the
   Network model, where queries require writing a program to navigate
   through the paths provided by the indices.  Which is _blazingly_
   fast, if the pre-planned paths are the ones you wanted.  But if you
   need something "oddball," the result may be a query program that is
   both inscrutable and slow.

What is unfortunate is that it looks like they have implemented
something that's pretty neat that is probably pretty useful for
embedding a sort of "database" support into applications in some
dynamic languages.  But since they _dramatically_ oversell it,
apparently because the producers are "youths" that don't have enough
perspective to grasp that other systems _do_ have merits, it's likely
to get treated as worthless because of the over-sell.
let name="cbbrowne" and tld="" in name ^ "@" ^ tld;;

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