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Not well known about how E.F. Codd was rejected


Not well known about how E.F. Codd was rejected

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Old Hand
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http://th.informatik.uni-mannheim.de/People/Lucks/reject.pdf

See the second case in the paper. Interesting historical perspective.
RBarryYoung
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Meh. Interesting historical references, but i'm not very impressed with the author's faux peer reviews. I read two of these papers when they were published (Codd's and RSA) and two others within a few years of their publishing (Dijkstra's and Hoare's) and there are many flaws in these "reviews".

First, his make-believe peer reviewers constantly cites "practical" objections as a reason for the editors to reject these famous papers, but they were all published as Mathematical submissions to academic publications. "Not practically possible" and "no application" are not reasons that *any* respected peer reviewer could ever use in such a forum. The second most frequent objection that he raises is that the reviewers could not understand either the symbols, the math or the references to other mathematical papers. Any peer-reviewer of mathematics papers making such an admission would not be asked to continue as a peer-reviewer.

And finally, he seems to be asking the hypothetical question "what if these papers had received such harsh peer review or criticism when they were published?", making the implicit assumption that they were not aggressively criticized. The gaping flaw here is that most of these papers in fact did receive review and criticism as harsh or even harsher (and more well-founded as well).

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TomThomson
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RBarryYoung (9/20/2009)
Meh. Interesting historical references, but i'm not very impressed with the author's faux peer reviews. I read two of these papers when they were published (Codd's and RSA) and two others within a few years of their publishing (Dijkstra's and Hoare's) and there are many flaws in these "reviews".

First, his make-believe peer reviewers constantly cites "practical" objections as a reason for the editors to reject these famous papers, but they were all published as Mathematical submissions to academic publications. "Not practically possible" and "no application" are not reasons that *any* respected peer reviewer could ever use in such a forum. The second most frequent objection that he raises is that the reviewers could not understand either the symbols, the math or the references to other mathematical papers. Any peer-reviewer of mathematics papers making such an admission would not be asked to continue as a peer-reviewer.

And finally, he seems to be asking the hypothetical question "what if these papers had received such harsh peer review or criticism when they were published?", making the implicit assumption that they were not aggressively criticized. The gaping flaw here is that most of these papers in fact did receive review and criticism as harsh or even harsher (and more well-founded as well).

I agree with Barry - these imitation peer-reviews are not impressive because they are not believable as reviews, not because they are too harsh, but because the criticisms they advance are nonsense in the context of the journals concerned and because in fact they are nowhere near harsh enough to be considered realistic.
When I peer-reviewed for IEEE I was generally fairly nice - I did sometimes (as often as not) suggest a complete rewrite, but I don't think I ever advocated outright rejection; I picked on flaws (real flaws, not imaginary ones) and really hammered them. As Barry says, "not practical" and "no forseeable application" in a review as reasons for rejection would probably get one removed from the list of available reviewers (I removed myself from the list four years ago when I found pressure of work was making it extremely difficult to find time to review submissions properly) but I'll bet the real reviews that first drafts of these papers go did some real fault hammering on sensible grounds.

Tom

RBarryYoung
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Agreed, Tom. In fact, the very first example (Dijkstra, Goto Considered Harmful) is particularly misrepresented by this author. Although it was actually only a Letter (something that I had forgotten), it is arguably the most harshly contended letter in academic history. The academic and professional action/reaction that it spawned (known commonly as the "Structure Wars") lasted ten years and no one whose career survived it is likely to ever forget it.

-- RBarryYoung, (302)375-0451 blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung
Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
"Performance is our middle name."
PaulB-TheOneAndOnly
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CELKO (7/23/2010)
He actually wrote that I was just like the bastards who made him stop writing perfectly good GOTO's in his code years ago.

I had one of those in my team years ago.
One day I gave him a gift, a notepad and a pen - told him to write there as many goto as he wanted.
The guy didn't found that funny - go figure :-D

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Disclaimer: Advice is provided to the best of my knowledge but no implicit or explicit warranties are provided. Since the advisor explicitly encourages testing any and all suggestions on a test non-production environment advisor should not held liable or responsible for any actions taken based on the given advice.
DataDog
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I get a little tingle of excitement everytime I use "goto" in CSharp
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