December 12, 2005

Misunderstandings of text management

I argue a lot with relational purists. On the whole they’re smart people, but they do have their blindspots.

One of the biggest is in the area of text. They fail to see how text data management is fundamentally different from tabular data management. Here’s a little article explaining why text doesn’t fit well into the relational model.


One Response to “Misunderstandings of text management”

  1. David Eddy on January 9th, 2006 12:32 pm

    Curt –

    Put these two observations into your grinder…

    #1 – The profession of “document management” obviously pre-dates software by several millennia. At the same time I would argue that it cannot be debated that software (source code) is a form of text.

    BUT… amongst the document management profession, software is NOT considered to be a document.

    (Perhaps they think software doesn’t need management?)

    #2 – In the “enterprise search” space, it’s fun to ask the vendors what they do about searching software. There’s this flicker of a frown that passes over their face since this is typically the first time they’ve even considered the issue & clearly have no way to handle the question. Typically there will be some fumbling about until they do finally admit they don’t do software. A common response is “Why would we search software?”

    So far I’ve found one experienced vendor that offers the 100% valid reason… “Customers aren’t asking for it.”

    Which then takes us back to the core issue… why aren’t customers asking to include software in their searches?

    To me it says customers are just barely beginning to kick the tires on what is truly needed for Enterprise Search. At this point in time everyone simply wants something as easy-to-use as Google… not understanding (as I think you point out elsewhere) that Googling the Internet & searching the corporate Intranet are not at all the same problem.

    – David

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