Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back to the Holocaust day, my father and King Alfred

I typically don't publish the same post twice, but today, due to the holocaust day, I am returning to something I published in this blog 3 years ago (and got many reactions upon it), the reason is that according to the statistics, during these 3 years the readers population for this Blog has grown significantly - so while old readers might remember it, I also want to share it with the newer ones,  This day is very much associated  in  my mind with my later father who was the only survivor of a big family.   Here is a picture of my father late in his life: 

I don't have any picture of him until after the  war, but here is a picture of the kitchen the  
Lodz Ghetto, where he worked at the beginning of the war (he said that he might be the person in the middle, but was not sure about it)

My father survived the war, while his parents and 7 brothers and sisters did not.
He never talked much about this period in life,  saying that this was on another planet, and cannot be described.  Once he told me that immediately after the war a relative found him in the survivors list and send him a letter asking him to describe whatever occurred to him during the war, my father answer was:

I will not tell you about what happened to me in the war, instead I will tell you the story of King Alfred  

King Alfred has escaped due to some revolt and was hiding in a farm, when the rebelling soldiers looking for him got there, the farmer hid the King below a big pile of straw; the soldiers started to look at the straw, they nearly removed all of it, and then decided to move on. At later time the King succeeded to overcome the mutiny and returned to his throne. At some point the farmer came to visit him and he said to him -- you save my life, I can give you whatever you wish, the farmer said: I am a modest person, don't need anything, have one question to you, what did you feel when the soldiers almost got all the straw removed. The king has shown an angry face and said: this is a very rude question, hang this man immediately. The farmer was about to be hanged, a rope was already tightened to his throat, and then the king said: stop, now you see what I felt.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On temporal extension to SQL:2011

I have written before about the recent return to the bi-temporal databases, in conjunction with DB2.  In the 1990-ies was the first attempt to create bi-temporal extensions to SQL, at that time there was a language war, some of it is reflected in the book that I have co-edited, published in 1998.  Now after some attempts, SQL:2011 does include support in bi-temporal databases.  The terminology was changed from the original terms.  What was called in the original version - "valid time" is called in the SQL version "application time',  an what was called in the original version - "transaction time" is called in the SQL version "system time".   
More details about the SQL extension can be found in the overview presentation that Craig Baumunk uploaded to slideshare.      As I have written before, temporal database is vital for maintaining historical events, and thus the importance of this standard, and the supporting databases to event processing application is noticable