[thelist] Architecture for arbitrary data management

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Fri Feb 29 10:16:39 CST 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r937
> Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 10:03 AM
> be very careful, this is a slippery slope and you will end up 
> frustrated and
> in tears, because retrieval is very complicated and anything but quick
> One True Lookup Table (by Joe Celko)
> http://www.dbazine.com/ofinterest/oi-articles/celko22

You know, I've always wondered what this architecture was called.  I made
this mistake on a project early on in my career--probably the first big
project out of the chute.  I was so excited about normalization and
flexibility that this just seemed SEXY!  Well, it's SUCKY--that's almost the
same, right?

Going down this road is definitely not for the faint of heart.  It has it's
place, but in a very tightly controlled fashion.  For example, if you had a
number of configuration options for an application (think db vs ini file,
here), I would recommend something like this.  For storing a fix number
user-defined parameters for objects in a table, but may be ok, but
borderline.  For storing who-the-hell-knows-what properties for
who-the-hell-knows different types of objects, I'd recommend putting energy
into better defining the system's objects.


Joshua L. Olson
WAE Technologies, Inc.
Augusta, Georgia Web Design
Phone: 706.210.0168
Fax: 707.988.0168
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