Subject Re: [IB-Architect] Database names: Hair trigger
Author Jim Starkey
At 02:43 PM 5/6/00 -0600, Tim Uckun wrote:
>This would make three types of strings in the database no? Char, varchar,
>blob-subtype. Why not rethink the thing. Just make a string type. Do we
>really need chars if we have varchars? do we really need varchars if we
>have long strings? Why not make a type called string which is like a
>varchar without an upper limit. Or maybe the upper limit is the length of
>the block. Let blobs be exactly that binary large objects best suited for
>word documents or mp3s.

Those are good questions. Here are some answers.

1. The SQL standard requires char and varchar. The semantics
of those types are defined and differ.

2. Blobs, even short ones, incur storage overhead compared with
simple strings.

3. Despite the fact that the SQL standard requires them, limited
length strings are necessary to work with most contemporay
languages. The trend is towards unbounded strings, but
we're not there. Besides, string length is a good hint
for formatting.

Jim Starkey