Re: SQL and a logic-based standard

James Fulton <>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 91 07:42:44 PST
From: James Fulton <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re:  SQL and a logic-based standard
  Thanks your response to my query.  I am glad that you agree that we need to
involve the SQL community in our efforts to establish formal logic as the 
foundation for modeling.
  I think that we do need to distinguish between our need to establish logic as
the consensus foundation for modeling and industry's need to have an imple-
mentable "standard" for communication.  By far the largest share of practictioners in the data community think of standards as a concrete implementation.  And
for the purposes of establishing protocols for passing data between machines or
for enabling programmers or users to request data in a predictable, portable
syntax, that kind of standard is critical.  It requires the world-wide consensus
that SQL is developing.  Of course it must be implementable, and if the SQL2
standard is not, then they have done a poor job.  And as you and we have 
recognized it must be founded on a firm semantic foundation, and that is logic.
  I think for the purposes of garnering support for our project among the SQL 
and Express communities, we may hurt ourselves when we formulate our position 
as proposing logic as a "standard".  It is too often interpreted as implying 
a concrete language as a competitor to SQL and Express and KIF and so on.  That' is not what we mean, but that is what is heard.  Rather we should say that we 
are proposing a mathematically precise semantic foundation to guide the 
evolution of existing standards.  ("Your assignment should you choose to accept 
it is ...")  This does not alter our position; it only phrases it in non-
competitive terms.
  In any case have a good holiday.  I'll be talking with you next year.