[erlang-questions] Re: Conceptual questions on key-value databases for RDBMs users

Richard O'Keefe <>
Tue Nov 9 02:59:11 CET 2010


On 8/11/2010, at 4:06 AM, Steve Davis wrote:
> It appears to me that this discussion is another expression of the
> 'strong vs weak/dynamic vs static type' discussion.
> 
> ...it makes me suspect that an imperative and strongly-typed language
> paradigm has been a very strong motivator in the evolution of SQL
> databases; and perhaps the popularity of NoSQL/NotSQL is an expression/
> outcome of the rise of recent trends in programming language uptake.

You *cannot* call the types in classic SQL "strong".
Numbers, strings, and byte strings for everything is what Joe is complaining
of and he is right to do so.  Encoding something as a string or blob basically
results in the data base itself having no clue about the structure or meaning
of the data.

It is important to understand that SQL is not a good example of a relational
system.  A move away from SQL *could* be a move towards relational!

One of the core concepts in relational systems is that of
enforced integrity constraints, via primary keys and foreign keys.
If you don't have any integrity constraints that you care to tell the
data base about, you probably don't need a relational system.



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