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Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition by Bill Pribyl, Steven Feuerstein

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Pontifications

I have to confess that I started programming before object approaches made any kind of inroads into business application development. I think I’m still waiting for that to happen.

Over the years, I’ve seen no compelling evidence that any particular programming style has a monopoly on the fundamental things we care about—fidelity to requirements, performance efficiency, developer effectiveness, and system reliability. I have seen a lot of fads, bandwagons, hand-waving, and unsupported assumptions (OK, I’m probably not entirely innocent myself), and object-oriented programming seems to attract quite a lot of it. That isn’t to say that OOP fails to help you solve problems; it’s just that OOP is not the magic bullet that many would have you believe.

Take, for example, the principle of object-based decomposition, particularly as it tends to generate inheritance hierarchies. By accurately modeling objects as they exist in the real world, software artifacts should be easier to comprehend, faster to assemble, and more amenable to large-scale system development. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? Well, there are a lot of different ways to decompose something drawn from the real world.[43] It is a rare taxonomy that can exist in a simple hierarchy. My library catalog hierarchy could have been decomposed according to, say, media (print versus audio tape versus digital format . . . ). And, although Oracle provides wonderful tools for type evolution, it may still be so painful to ...

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