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Re: [ddlm-group] Restricting identifiers to integers: a good idea?

A significant difference between keys as text and keys as integers is that as text,  "1", "01",
"001", ... are all different, and as integers they are the same.  This can cause confusion unless
the new dictionary takes care to restrict the data values permitted in the particular column to text
with a unique EBNF presentation as integers -- no signs, no leading zeros, no leading or trailing
whitespace, no decimal point, no scientific notation, no octal, hex or binary


On Mon, Sep 13, 2021 at 2:07 AM James H <jamesrhester@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello DDLm experts,

This time I have a relational model question.

One of our dictionary author groups would like to restrict the key data name of a category (an opaque identifier) to positive integers (instead of arbitrary text), to simplify input and storage. I have commented that this risks the integer acquiring some sort of meaning, such as specifying that the items in the category are arranged in a particular sequence. However, I think some of you have more experience in why integer identifiers may or may not be a good idea. Can any of you comment on the value of restricting/not restricting the form of an identifier?

Note this is a new dictionary so I'm not talking about changing an existing data name.

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