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Old Friends and Foes


I see Celko has popped up on the new forum ... :smile:


Yeah, someone's already mentioned it to the moderators. Bill's keeping an eye on him. :slight_smile:


He's back!


Time to sharpen the MODs pencil?



@Kristen, Almost posted this link to his latest post but decided not to at the last minute.


This is hardly enough anymore


I think you are looking at this the wrong way. I think Joe has the best of intentions. In some ways, he feels like SQL is part of his legacy and wants to ensure that it is not misused. I can understand it from that perspective.

I like to look at his comments in the same way that I look at the comments from that Uncle that always came to family holiday parties, drank too much, and extolled the virtues of the Ford Pinto because it had a built-in BBQ grill if you backed it into a wall hard enough. I just smile and let him talk, then move on.

I do see the concern that new people to the subject matter of SQL may feel put off by the comments and tone. Perhaps it would be beneficial to add a piece to the FAQ about the forums that discuss how to handle "drunk uncle" postings. I am sure it will be read as much as the other forum "How-To" suggestions.

Just my one cent...I can't afford two.


Celko was recently banned (within the last month or so) from posting on SQLServerCentral.com and his posts have been deleted, though remnants are still there when people quoted his posts. They also removed all comments, his and others, from the two Staircase series that he wrote.

I can't say I'll miss him. I acknowledge he's an authority, but not everything needs to be 100% ANSI standard compatible. He's gone so far from being helpful to being a pedant for pedantry's sake that he isn't very helpful for people new to the field. I've been an admin and developer for 30 some years and nothing he's ever posted to any question that I've raised has been beneficial. And the rows/records and columns/fields? I don't know how many books or posts by learned people who use the terms interchangeably.

Besides, the use of row or record is incorrect -- the proper term is tuple. :smile:


And fields or columns should be attributes if we want to stick to Codd


I had forgotten that! I could not say when the last time I came across tuple. Though I am sure it was in a book.

As to fields/columns, I try and stick to columns, having never ran across calling them attributes. And yes I knew they that a column is an attribute but there are lots of attributes. :smiley:


Relatiional model


However good his intentions, Rude is always unnecessary. "Drunk Uncle" doesn't get invited again in my household ...

We can pool our pair on one-cents to make two?!!


I know they have longer vacations and more holidays in the UK compared to the US, but @Kristen, you have been away from SQL Team for 3+ months!! Do they have any openings where you work? Any chance you can put in a good word for me? :smile:


I'll let you know when I'm back in 3 months time :slight_smile:


UK is not the most.


Couple of interesting tidbits about the holiday calendars in India:

  1. If a holiday happens to be on a weekend, for example on Sunday, they don't get a compensating holiday on Monday or Friday. So a national holiday falling on a weekend is an unwelcome prospect.

  2. If a dignitary such as a former president dies, schools and government offices usually get a day off for mourning. So when a former president is seriously ill, all eyes turn to heaven in prayer asking for the beloved leader to die on a weekday and not on a Saturday or Sunday.

This is all hearsay, so if anyone claims that I am wrong, they would be right.


I agree that rude is never a good thing. I think what Mr. Celko is doing is something that I term “The Celko Slap.” Recall the “old” movies when someone is in a panic state and someone goes up and slaps them and tells them to “get ahold of yourself!” I think that Mr. Celko sees so much bad design and wants to shock people back to reality. That doesn’t make it right.

To illustrate how the “Celko Slap” can turn people off, consider this fictional posting:

Dear learned database experts. Having successfully built a macro in Excel to replace the SUM function, management chose me to design their new database system. I had a few questions on how to do it best but after reading some of the responses and the venom unleased, I have decided to use my original design rather than risk public ridicule. Using NVARCHAR(MAX) with a combination of JSON and/or XML to store the fields will be more versatile and can do just about anything we want. Besides, we are not sure if we are getting the contract for the nuclear power plant safety system or the air traffic control system. My design will allow us to easily switch between them without a redesign.

Asking questions is easier when the person asking doesn’t fear that their head will be bitten off in return for trying to learn.


Good analogy/example James!!

His rants about using ANSI SQL and portable code reminds me of Jimmy McMillan. For those of you who are not intimately familiar with the circus that is New York City politics, Jimmy McMillan is a guy who has run for every possible elected office in New York City (and beyond) as his party's candidate. His party is "The Rent is Damn Too High" party. I kid you not - that is the name of the party. He is a single issue candidate, that issue being "the rent is damn too high"

Our friend reminds me of Jimmy McMillan, except that the party line is "the damn code is not ANSI SQL".


And no one fully implements ANSI SQL.


I think these links present the issue very well. One doesn't have to be nasty if they are an expert as evidenced by the article author. He is kind, helpful, and don't think he has ever quoted ISO date format standards.I could be wrong though - he likes to dive a lot.

Answer Questions Politely

Ignorance Is Not Stupidity

Thanks for all you do Mr. Randal!