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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Can the internet be considered a database?

    Hello All,
    I'm very new to the database world, it was a module on the course i'm currently studying at university and it's something i'd like to look into a little deeper. One of the questions our lecturer posed at the end of a recent lecture was whether or not the internet can be considered a database.
    Whilst i realise there are for and against arguments for this i would love to know some of your opinions as the question was left open ended and ultimately unanswered.

    My knowledge of databases is quite limited (within the realms of an introduction course) however, i will endeavor to learn any terms that you use that i don't full understand.

    At the moment my interpretation of the differences is somewhat superficial and nothing to do with the structure they posses. So any help would be great.

    Once again thanks for the help.
    On a side note any one who has any useful examples of the normalisation process / or normalisation questions with answers would be great.

    Thank you.
    Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    No, the internet is not a database.
    It is not organized. It is not relational. It is unconstrained.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    a database doesn't "have" to be relational to be a database
    there's more than enough EVA database's out there.

    I guess ultimately it depends on how you define database

    given the trends in "cloud computing" I suppose someone could argue that potentially we are moving from discreet dedicated databases to amorphous remote data stores. but that confuses the issue. the internet by itself is the network, 'stuff' is available on that network, but I wouldn't trust it to store critical data or for critical services.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    20,002
    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    there's more than enough EVA database's out there.
    /EVA/EAV/

    /database's/databases/

    but i totally agree with your point -- "eav databases" are not organized, not relational, and unconstrained

    another aspect to the question is how would you communicate with the database that is the internet

    my assertion is that you do so using search terms

    and there are some pretty good generally accepted search term conventions
    • "this is a phrase" so search for this exact character string
    • +term must be included in results
    • (foo OR bar) means either
    • * is a wildcard
    eck settera

    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    From Wikipedia:
    "A database is an organized collection of data, today typically in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality (for example, the availability of rooms in hotels), in a way that supports processes requiring this information (for example, finding a hotel with vacancies)."
    Key word: organized.
    An unorganized collection of data is not a database. Its a data pile. Lotus Notes, for example....
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    277
    internet: a morass of information, a fraction of which occasionally proves to be useful

    database: an organized collection of important information frequently structured as a morass


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    831
    The internet is a router based network. The web is not. The internet is a database. The web is not.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    A network is not a database, any more than a mainframe is a database.
    A network is a platform, if that.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

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