Database Design Theory?

Ross Werner ross at
Wed Nov 9 08:20:55 MST 2005

On Tue, 8 Nov 2005, Tyler Strickland wrote:
> At no time was a specific database mentioned or a query actually performed. 
> All was theory.  It was good theory, but when I actually wanted to start 
> working with databases I found I didn't know much at all.  I could design a 
> solid fourth-normal-form database, but beyond that I was pretty lost.

That was the impression I was given of the BYU database classes. Now I 
want to make explicit that I think this is *exactly* what BYU database 
classes *should* be teaching. Theory theory theory. The mathematical 
models. Ideas and concepts.

However, I felt that the original poster was looking for something about 
real-world design concepts and ideas, not the theory and math behind 
databases. The latter may be helpful, of course, but I'm not sure *how* 

I mean, sites like the c2 wiki ( for 
example) I think are wonderful for discussions of various design issues in 
code, with arguments on every side, pointing out common pitfalls and 
mistakes, how to fix them, when not to fix them, etc. This sort of 
real-world discussion is much different from the theory you'd get in any 
class. As much as I love the theory, it'd be great to see a similar sort 
of web site on database design.

 	~ Ross

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