RE: Useful Oracle books - C.J. Date theory vs. practicality

Ah -- roman numerals ... my favorite topic, as a mathematician ...

I don't know the origin of this article anymore,
it is not mine, but I truly love it as a brilliant metaphor
(and I made some "minor" adjustments in the first sentence :-)
Why not Roman numerals?

The reluctant progress of many hit ratio champions toward a half hearted
embrace of the wait interface is no doubt reminiscent of the introduction of
Arabic numerals into the unwilling Roman Empire.

Can you imagine what it must have been linke to have been a guru in Roman
numerals at that time?

Your expertise is Roman numerals. Nobody can do long division in Roman
numerals like you (you?re so good you may even have a consulting practice
people seek your organization out for Roman numerals project implementation
guidance). But all of a sudden, people are beginning to get excited about
this new concept   Arabic numerals. Your reaction goes through the same
stages as the hit ratio proponents of today:

1. Denial. First, you simply deny that the new technology is good for
anything. You contend that it ?may be an interesting academic theory,? but
it?s simply not practical. After all, the whole empire   its tax rolls,
markets and business   runs on Roman numerals. And besides, Roman numbers
are often easier. One plus one equals two, literally, in Roman numerals.
But the ground swell for Arabic numbers becomes too much   people are
discovering that they really can be useful   so you move to the next stage,
which is:

2. One foot in the boat. You contend that Arabic numbers ?are good but only
for certain things.? They may be great for multiplication and division, but
you just can?t beat Roman numerals for addition and subtraction (the high
volume applications in the empire).

This is where most hit ratio supporters are today. The wait interface is now
admitted to be good   but only for certain things. And, just as with the
Roman numerals guru, this contingent will ultimately arrive at the third

3. Grudging acceptance. Arabic numerals finally demonstrate that they are
just as good (even better) than Roman numerals for any operation. At this
stage, like many experts of today, you attempt to point out that you were
really behind the Arabic numeral movement all along and that you are, in
fact, the world?s leading expert in this new technology.


Kind regards,

visit my website at

-----Original Message-----
From: oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Mladen Gogala
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 21:13
To: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Useful Oracle books - C.J. Date theory vs. practicality

In its superior intellect, civilized Europe continued to use the Roman
system, refusing to change for as long as possible, as the infidels ran
circles around it.
Eventually the Europeans gave in. It is very comforting to know that the
concept of NULL
didn't need that long to gain acceptance. Predictably, once again, the
resistance comes
from Europe....

Mladen Gogala
Oracle DBA

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