Subject Re: [IB-Architect] Database names: Hair trigger
Author Helen Borrie
At 03:34 PM 05-05-00 -0400, you wrote:
>At 12:27 PM 5/5/00 -0700, Bill Karwin wrote:
> >
> >> Rather than a cast, why not just treat a blob as a character
> >> string?
> >
> >Given that there is a length limit on DSQL strings that is much shorter than
> >the maximum Blob length, this would be like offering a new arithmetic
> >operation for integers, but only if the integer is between 0 and 350. Very
> >convenient if the integer you need is in that range, but a bit inexplicable
> >why there is the limitation.
> >
>Maybe we could ditch the restriction? I suspect that the idea
>that a character string length is a short is pretty pervasive,
>but sure would be nice to phase out the idea that strings are
>< 65K.
>Jim Starkey

Eew, I just hate this idea.

One of the blessings of blobs is that, to the database, it's just a mess of
bytes. I can push anything into a blob - a WP file, an image file, even a
whole database - and the engine will store it and retrieve it without
caring what's in it.

The mind boggles to think what one would have to do with even a simple (but
perhaps large) text file if it had to be a string. It would have to be
parsed before you could even submit it to the database because it would be
guaranteed to contain reserved symbols. The apostrophe (single-quote)
comes to mind as a real showstopper.

For this MonsterString datatype, you would have to *know* all possible
content in order to know what needed "fixing" to make it storable. Imagine
trying to keep your data parsers up to date with every binary format that
appeared. And you'd have to find some way to unwind the fixes when the
blob was being retrieved, to avoid presenting a corrupt file to the app
that originally served it.

I hope nobody really seriously thinks we should deprecate blobs.

"Ask not what your free, open-source database can do for you,
but what you can do for your free, open-source database."