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Re: [Gnumed-devel] safe handling of end-user extensibility

From: Horst Herb
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] safe handling of end-user extensibility
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 15:19:02 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.1a) Gecko/20020611

address@hidden wrote:

Along the same lines is there a _real_ advantage to using symbolic IDs
instead of numeric ones ?  "usr_referral_ENT" and 
as opposed to 513 and 15 ? Or is this just a virtual benefit of a better feel
for human beings ?

Database theory says that primary keys should not bear a meaning unless it is guaranteed to be immutable. Little else but the sequence of numbers we allocate is guaranteed to be immutable. If you chose not to denormalize this table - which you may if you have good reasons not to - you will be free to name that attribute whatever you like

BTW, I think there is another - and maybe more palatable option besides your 1-3: a global gnumed repository where users suggest additions/modifications which are then shared (if desired) with the rest of the gnumed community. All it takes is central allocation of IDs. No problem to set up a few servers allocating such IDs - the effect would be that we ratin ease of record transfer and circumvent all ambiguities.


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