OK, I'm late. It was Father's Day last Sunday, but to be fair, I'd just returned from Mexico and was swamped with stuff to get through, so I hadn't had a chance to really work on an editorial for that day. OK, so I had a baseball game (went 2 for 4), but hey, it was a priority. As I was digging out of email on Mon and Tuesday, I caught this slideshow on fathers of computing that intrigued me.
It seems that a fair number of you have been involved in computing as a career for many years. Some as long as my 17 years or even longer, so you may remember some of these people making news. So here are a few of the titles:
- Father of the Internet
- Father of E-mail
- Father of networking
- Father of the LAN
- Father of the Relational Database
Do you know who they are? I've got the list from e-week below, but in case you don't know the last one, it's listed as Edgar Codd. It was Dr. Codd, working for IBM, that created the relational model for databases in his classic paper: A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks
What's interesting is that he didn't invent SQL, originally known as SEQUEL, instead he proposed a language, Alpha that was never implemented, but formed the basis for SEQUEL, which evolved into the variants of SQL we know and use today.
Dr. Codd worked with Chris Date and helped to refine his idea of relational databases, and eventually published his 12 rules, as database vendors tried to repackage their products without really creating a relational database. I'm not sure if SQL Server strictly complies with these rules, so maybe someone will let me know. I'm slightly embarassed to say I'm not entirely sure what some of them mean (9, maybe 11).
Interestingly enough, he coined the term OLAP and wrote a paper on 12 laws for OLAP, that surprisingly I can't find. It was retracted since it referenced Essbase, the fledgling product from Hyperion at the time, and Dr. Codd was paid by Hyperion. I'd still have expected to find a copy floating on the web somewhere, but apparently not everything is on the Internet.
So I'm a few days late, but still it's a good time to pay tribute to Dr. Codd, father of the systems that we make our living from today.
PS, here are the answers:
- Father of the Internet - Vint Cerf
- Father of E-mail - Raymond Tomlinson
- Father of networking - Ray Noorda
- Father of the LAN - Bob Metcalfe
- Father of the Relational Database - Dr. Edgar Codd
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