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Micah Dubinko wrote:
> Hi Paul, Mike,
>>Two databases may
>>use different identifiers for what is in fact the same concept, such as
>>zip code. A program that wants to compare or combine information across
>>the two databases has to know that these two terms are being used to
>>mean the same thing.
> Isn't that the whole crux of the problem? If the problem is that two
> databases (or web pages) use a different name for "zip code", the solution
> is to add a third (Q)name, that both must agree upon?
That's one option, but it is very heavy-handed and not practical in all
cases. What do you do about pre-existing data sources that you don't
control? What if you can't convince the owners of these data sources to
I prefer the other option. I can, either locally or globally, make a
statement that says that these two things are really the same and it is
_as if_ they had standardized but without the effort. Then I can save my
energy to standardize the really hard cases like across disparate
addressing schemes or protocols, or when the mapping is more complex
than a simple renaming.