Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics
started 3/18/2003; 3:49:36 AM - last post 3/21/2003; 9:02:36 PM
Ehud Lamm - 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics  blueArrow
3/18/2003; 3:49:36 AM (reads: 1592, responses: 2)
1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics
System R is a database system built as a research project at IBM San Jose Research (now IBM Almaden Research Center) in the 1970's. System R introduced the SQL language and also demonstrated that a relational system could provide good transaction processing performance.

Extremely cool bit of history. Check out transcripts of the discussion.

As Oleg notes, curiously the first query language proposed by Ted Codd was based on predicate calculus, with quantifiers and such. People though it is "hairy stuff". That's why SQL was "based" on English.

There are also some anecdotes about the "discovery" of compilation (as opposed to interpretation) of SQL, and how this relates to optimization.

Given my mainframe DBA past, I found several of the stories quite amusing. One that I think we can all share, is that there were these IBM people trying to do code reviews for programming style on the machine code produced by the compiler. The obvisouly found many many defects...

Posted to history by Ehud Lamm on 3/18/03; 3:50:39 AM

Manuel Simoni - Re: 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics  blueArrow
3/19/2003; 2:49:46 AM (reads: 460, responses: 0)
The citation for this language is

Codd, E. F., "A Data Base Sublanguage Founded on the Relational Calculus," Proc. of the 1971 ACM-SIGFIDET Workshop on Data Description, Access and Control, San Diego, Ca., November 1971.

I wonder if anyone has an idea about where to obtain this document, because I'd be very interested in it.


Paul McJones - Re: 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics  blueArrow
3/21/2003; 9:02:36 PM (reads: 406, responses: 0)
It's available via the ACM SIGMOD Anthology -- see . The Anthology is included when you join SIGMOD -- a very good deal! I will send a copy to Manuel if I can figure out his email address.