RE: Counterquestion - is Oracle a He or a She - or an It or a hermaphrodite

  • From: "Kennedy, Jim" <jim_kennedy@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Leandro Guimaraes Faria C. Dutra" <ldutra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 08:46:21 -0700


-----Original Message-----
From: Leandro Guimaraes Faria C. Dutra [mailto:ldutra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 8:29 AM
To: Kennedy, Jim
Cc: Niall Litchfield; oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; 
Subject: RE: Counterquestion - is Oracle a He or a She - or an It or a 

oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx gravou em 2005-08-08 12:29:28:

> No, NULLS mean no data.

        Sorry to break it to you, but it's funny to see you unwittingly

confirming my point... no data can be interpreted in lots of ways.


Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
Administrador de Bases de Dados      +55 (11) 4390 5383
Toyota do Brasil Ltda              ldutra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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People are free to interprate anything anyway they want to.(regarless of the 
existance or not existance of nulls, if we had surgaflate the problem would be 
the same - How to indicate when you have no information.)  If you laid all the 
economists end to end you would never reach a conclusion.  

But no, NULL means there is no information.  A perfectly valid piece of 
information!  If the requirements are that we must not have "no information" 
then make it NOT NULL for that column. (a very reasonable requirement)

My point was that a lot of people have trouble understanding what NULLs are.  
In my example, (a real case) it was made clear why you needed to have the 
instance when you don't know if the person has an allergy or not or if they 
were never asked the question (no data, null). eg The information was imported 
from a billing or scheduling system and that system isn't going to know that 
type of medical information.  Which was the situation - why making the column 
not null in this case wasn't going to work and why one could not assume a value 
because that could have severe medical reprocussions.


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