Help me with this code PLEASE

Joel Goldstick joel.goldstick at
Tue Nov 5 20:01:14 CET 2013

On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM, Tobiah <toby at> wrote:
> All this problem arises because MySQL's hasn't got a datatype able to store
> an array of elements, a list.
> Um, yes it does.  It's called a table.
> --

Perhaps we are splitting hairs, but a relational database will let you
stuff any text you want in a text field, but First Normal Form is a
necessary (and not complete) requirement (from wikipedia)

First normal form (1NF) is a property of a relation in a relational
database. A relation is in first normal form if the domain of each
attribute contains only atomic values, and the value of each attribute
contains only a single value from that domain.[1]

If you don't have a single thing in a field, you can't search or sort
it or filter by its value with sql.  Since those are very important
properties of sql, not using 1nf is similar to tossing a whole
warehouse of stuff in a warehouse without any sort of organization for
where different things are to be put, and therefore, where they can be

If you don't have first normal form data, you are misusing a
relational database.  If you don't want to learn about relational
databases and what they can do to help you construct software that
solves interesting problems, then perhaps you are not curious enough
to ever become competent in the field.

That said, sql is a different beast than is python or php or any
procedural (or oops) language.  Just like writing HTML and CSS is
something that people who write computer programs for the web might
do,  its a total shift in thinking from writing python.

There is no rule that a person must be a computer programmer, but if a
person wants to be a competent and successful computer programmer, one
must learn from the evolving understanding of the last 50 years or so.
 Its a craft of understanding how to divide impossibly large problems
into understandable pieces -- using the best tools for each piece.
You may say this is just one person's opinion -- but then again, I'm
not the one screaming in all caps about the same several problems over
and over for the last year or more on this list.  The results show no
more understanding or growth in skills, and an attitude that never
shows a glimmer of interest in learning.

Joel Goldstick

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