HLL Primitives

Massimo Dentico m.dentico@virgilio.it
Thu Feb 6 00:06:02 2003

I apologize in advance  for my, essentially off-topic,  intervention but
Faré is doing a ridiculous characterization of my position and I  cannot
accept this because I think is not fair.

Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:

 > [..]
 > As for a conceptual model for attributes, etc. - in Tunes,
 > I think that what I had in my mind when I wrote this page
 > was that the "state" of the system at any moment could be seen as a set
 > of (attribute, object(s), value(s)) tuples that are known to hold.
 > This view of the world is that of various knowledge-based systems,
 > and it might also satisfy our relational database loving Mad70.

I was critic about RDBMS until some times ago, see for example:

   - http://lists.tunes.org/archives/tunes/2000-April/002725.html

but in the meantime I realized how much I was wrong and why. So  realize
this, please: mine is not blind acceptance.

 > As opposed to an simple relational databases, however,

This is not the first time we  briefly debate on this subject so I  know
that when you write "simple  relational databases" you really mean  "SQL
DBMSs and current common practice in data management field".

As I have pointed out in other posts (see:

   - http://lists.tunes.org/archives/review/2002-June/thread.html

the threads "DataBase Debunking" and clarifications) and on IRC directly
to you, there are people that are trying to dispell such equation (RDBMS
= SQL DBMS)  with good rationales,  IMO. Dispite this  you seem to  have
dismissed entirely this distinction as not relevant.

Besides that  I have an interest in the mathematical concept of relation
because it has  a more broad  application than data  modelling (which is
not to say that data modelling is of scarce importance).

 > our semantics integrates dynamism deep inside the knowledge base,
 > whereas relational databases are static stuff that are modified
 > by external dynamic agents. (This statement begs for formalization.)
 > [..]

Do  you expect  to have  taken seriously?   Even flawed  SQL DBMSs  have
dynamism in the form of a caricature of constraints and views (1), store
procedures and triggers (2)  and as such they  are not so static  as you
appear to think (3).

So what is your point here? I really do not understand.

(1) In the sense that constraints and views are badly implemented, if at
     all ..

(2) .. and  store procedures and  triggers, when implementd,  are at odd
     with the declarative nature of relational algebra/calculus.

(3) A DBMS  whatsoever (note  the absence  of Releational)  is a  System
     which possesses: data types, structure, integrity and  manipulation.
     If you  call  DBMS  something  which   miss even  only one  of  this
     features then  there  aren't   possibility of   mutual understanding
     because I'm not inclined to dismiss such definition so easily.

> [ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
> [  TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System  | http://tunes.org  ]
> Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context -- a chair
> in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a
> city plan. -- Eliel Saarinen


Massimo Dentico