Databasen - NULL dates

Toby Corkindale tjc at
Wed Oct 18 11:36:34 BST 2006

On Wed, Oct 18, 2006 at 10:51:41AM +0100, Nigel Rantor wrote:
> So, have been interviewing DB types lately, looking for a Guru.
> We got into a discussion about whether or not to use NULL values for 
> dates that are as-yet-unknown. anyone have strong feelings and arguments 
> either way?
> Interested to see where people stand.

Well, if you don't have a date, you can't set a date. It would be bad&wrong to
set an abitrary date!
(I've worked on a database I inherited where "unknown" dates were set to
something arbitrary like 1900-01-1, in that case birthdate, membership join
date, etc.. Then we added reports that included things like age demographics,
average length of membership, etc. I think it went for a while before anyone
questioned the suspiciously large number of antedilivuans who were signed up)


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