Keith Douglas' Web Page

About me Find out who I am and what I do.
My resumé A copy of my resumé and other documentation about my education and work experience for employers and the curious.
Reviews, theses, articles, presentations A collection of papers from my work, categorized and annotated.
Current research projects What I am currently working on, including some non-research material.
Interesting people People professionally "connected" to me in some way.
Interesting organizations Organizations I am "connected" to. (Some rather loosely.)
Intellectual/professional influences Influences on my work, including an organization chart. Here you can also buy many good books on philosophy and other subjects via I have included brief reviews of hundreds of books.
Professional resources Research sources, associates programs, etc.
What is the philosophy of computing? A brief introduction to my primary professional interest.
My intellectual heroes A partial list of important people. Limited to the dead.
My educational philosophy As a sometime teacher I've developed one. Includes book resources.

Book Influences - Computing: Databases

A First Course in Database Systems Ullman SQL and other languages, plus some theory of databases.
Beginning PL/SQL: From Novice to Professional Bales This is a tutorial (not a reference, per se) introduction to the PL/SQL programming language used by the Oracle DBMSes. Also includes notes on more general software engineering notions, like debugging, albeit specialized to this context.
Beginning SQL Server 2005 Administration Wood (et al) I got this to help me at my new job. Since I was thrown into an apprentice DBA position, I thought this might prove useful. It has - many little tidbits are found in this that are not clear from Microsoft's own documentation.
Beginning SQL Server 2005 Programming Vieira The SQL part of this book is very similar to the SQL part of A First Course on Database Systems with more prose. It also includes much about SQL Server 2005 specifically instead of much of the database theory in AFCoDS. It also includes a rather annoying number of typos.
Data Quality and Record Linkage Techniques Herzog, Scheuren, Winkler This is sort of a literature (and to a lesser extent, software) review on the subjects indicated in the title. Both algorithmic and statistical features are discussed, though primarily the latter. (I would have liked to see more discussion of computational complexity, having experienced how slow even preparing data for record linkage can be.) On a slightly more personal level, it is nice to see Statistics Canada mentioned favourably repeatedly.
Journey to Data Quality Lee, Pipino, Funk and Wang Quality of data expressed as a management goal on a par with other products in a commercial organization. Since the book is American, almost all the examples are from commercial health care in a way that would be partially inapplicable here in Canada. However, what is more missing is discussion of where data arguably is the product (as, for example, in some government departments), and whether that makes a difference. The most important thing of interest to me was the threefold distinction between data collectors, curators and consumers. Some organizations blur the latter two roles. For those looking for many computational principles, one won't find too many - the book is at a higher level of abstraction than that. For example, it mentions the difficulty of data homophones and synonyms, but provides really very concrete suggestions on how to avoid them, how to deal with them when discovered, etc. A shame, since a textbook-style chapter would have been sufficient given the book's style. All in all, not a bad book, just a very incomplete one.
Oracle Database 10g: The Complete Reference Loney This is a superficial introduction to everything about the Oracle DBMS 10g. The book itself is 1300+ pages long, but that's because 10g is one complex system and because it includes an exhaustive syntax reference and glossary for SQL, PL/SQL, SQLPlus and much on SQLLoader as well. I bought it because I wanted an introduction to absolutely everything; it succeeds quite well at that. One will want to supplement it with books on topics of specific interest. (Note well, however, that this book does not reflect the latest editions of the software; similar books are available for those.)
Professional SQL Server 2005 Administration Knight, Patel et al A slightly redundant book with the beginner's one on the same topic by Wrox. However, the details of indexing and clustering as well as more discussion of how to make administrative decisions (as opposed to merely following instructions) are all to the good. Some conspicuous typos, none serious.
Professional SQL Server 2005 CLR Programming With Stored Procedures, Functions, Triggers, Aggregates, and Types Comingore, Hinson This is a fairly detailed introduction both to the software developer and the DBA on the subject in the title. The book's strongest and most valuable point is the discussion of when to and when not to use the CLR for developing such objects. Familiarity with .NET and SQL Server at a fairly decent level is helpful; the degree to which in each case depends on whether one is primarily interested in development or administration. Note that the DBA may wish to develop CLR based tools herself as reporting, for example, can be made easier.
Relational Information Systems Merrett Merrett is a taskmaster as a teacher (to say the least) and his detailed (and somewhat ideosyncratic) monograph is in that vein. Those looking for a SQL primer won't even find an SQL statement in the book, which instead covers everything from designing file systems to management information systems: all in a terse, early 1980s style. Nevertheless, there is a lot to learn from this clear book and exercises (from trivial to then (?) research problems) make for an occaisonally handy reference and textbook. (Disclosure: Merrett assigned a few sections from this text in his extremely challenging Files and Databases course at McGill in 1998. I am still prouder of my performance in that course than any other academic outcome ever - and that was the year I got a perfect grade in Philosophy of Science II!)