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charlie, computer cat

April 2019



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charlie, computer cat

Gay marriage: The Database Engineering Perspective


While I couldn't read every single part of this - I do have some sort of life outside of the computer - I loved it.

"Perhaps the simplest solution would be to ban marriage outright. Or, better yet, to declare everybody as married to everybody else. But then what would the database engineers do all day?"

Very funny! I personally like the idea of marrying everyone to everyone else - then maybe we would take responsibility for each other. Thanks for sharing.
You know... I never quite thought about it that way. (And not just the database stuff!)
Oh man, I am so tempted to use that at school.

Some of my students are a bit homophobic as well. Two birds/one stone.
I thought it was odd to end with a solution with person_1 and person_2 fields again. Here’s my suggestion for fully generalized civil unions. First, decree that such a household needs to have a name, agreed by the parties. In conventional marriage in the English-speaking world, the husband’s surname is used, but once you have a rolling union of polyams you may decide to choose a separate name for the marriage itself. Then things are simple enough: there’s a table union_members with a union_id, person_id, plus dates joined and left. This can admittedly represent zero- and one-person unions, but either you ban them at a higher level of business logic, or you accept that a person living on their own or as a sole parent is a marriage of one in some ways—and a zero-member union might be the legal husk of a marriage where all the members have left but the children or other legal obligations live on.

This is horribly similar to a made-up society in an sf story I never wrote.
The problem with this is that you have to do a lot more joins. Thus, polyamory must be banned.

-- tom
You see, this is exactly the kind of trouble that arises when people try to put databases into heteronormal form.

Luckily, there's been a lot of work on queery optimisation in the last few years.

-- tom
#11 was pretty close to how I would have done it, before reading into the article. That's a great relational database exercise! :)
sharing this everywhere!