What's in a Condition?
Subject:   Refreshing
Date:   2002-10-04 07:44:48
From:   balesd
This is an excellent article. It will help clarify the mechanics of SQL92 outer join syntax for anyone who uses SQL to access a relational database, Oracle or otherwise. It is especially helpful for relational database users whose primary experience is using Oracle, because Oracle has been slow to implement this syntax (no doubt because their existing syntax has been used since the beginning of relational database technology, so why change something that has works?). Even more impressive though is Jonathan's courage to admit that he doesn't know-it-all and is willing to share his learnings whilst taking on the risk that some know-it-all would publicly scold him because he admitted he learned something new. Thank-you Jonathan! Public ridicule is why adults stop learning. Most adults won't make themselves vulnerable to "ignorance" ridicule and therefore stop learning. AUTARCH, rather than ridicule people for admitting they've learned something and are willing to share what they've learned, be productive, take the risk, and share what you know.
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  • Refreshing
    2002-10-04 15:42:31  Dave Rolsky | O'Reilly Author [View]

    Exactly where did I ridicule the author? I didn't call him ignorant, or scold him, or any of the other things you're implying I did.

    You might also notice that I pointed out that for a while, I too did not understand the difference between join and non-join conditions. But because he is an author and editor about _databases_, I would simply expect him to have known this a long time ago. That hardly constitutes public ridicule!

    Overall, I think that this is symptomatic of a larger problem. Part of this problem is the fact that SQL is not relational (so there are no real relational databases available). Given that most database practitioners learn solely from practice, combined with such fundamentally flawed tools, leads to a fundamental lack of understanding of basic principles. Is this all the fault of the author? Not by any means. Is it a problem? Yes.