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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think you've overnormalized. You don't need task_start, task_finish, task_cancel junction tables. You've just traded trying to enforce UserID NOT NULL IF Status NOT NULL for enforcing that a task appears at most once in the UNION of the three task_{start,finish,cancel} tables, which will be even more awkward to code in your data dictionary (1=COUNT(*) FROM UNION...)

    You need just one task_status table that has NOT NULL FKs to TaskID and UserID, plus a State enumerated type and an autoinsert date timesta

    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;
    • Ah, thanks. You're correct that my normalization wasn't correct. I can now see the value of what you propose and that does make the task simpler and more maintainable. As a caveat, though, some of what you suggest implies using a real database, not a toy like MySQL (which is what we're using).

      This gives me another good rule of thumb to keep in mind. Naturally, when I see things like field_1, field_2, field_3 and so on, it's obvious that I need another table as what I'm looking at is essentially an arr