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On 10/04/2012 11:04 AM, Mark Stanton wrote:
Question:  How many people do you know use Base, or have tried to use 
Whilst there is some quite valid criticism of Base, I don't think answering 
this question says as much about Base as it does about the general usage
of databases.  They are less familiar than word processors, spreadsheets or 
drawing packages.


I use databases at work, primarily MS SQL Server. My observation is to
be good at using databases (Base included) takes more time and effort up
front than most realize. Most people have a very rudimentary
understanding, if any, of databases. Often, they think of and use
spreadsheets as databases, which only works at a very rudimentary and
simple level (table of contact information for mailing list generation).
Any marginally more sophisticated use and spreadsheets fail as databases.

Database design is less obvious to most. I think most people do not
understand that databases are a type of model of the real world. The
accuracy of the model for the user's needs is what is important and this
not always easy to determine or model.

Beyond the conceptual problems with databases, they use a querying
language. Most (all?) relational databases like Base use a variant of
SQL. So to move beyond the wizards and have more control and
understanding one eventually needs to learn some SQL, another level
learning with more time and effort.

Word processors, spreadsheets, presentation packages, drawing packages,
etc. conceptually tend to follow how one would do the task manually.
Fundamentally, writing a document in Write at its most basic level is a
much nicer way of typing it than on typewriter. Because the program can
do more than just display the text, such spell check, auto format, auto
number lists, etc., the program adds considerable value beyond simply
typing. The early word processing programs had one feature that
typewriter could never do; save the document for later editing without
have to retype it in part or in entirety.

Jay Lozier

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