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I see it as a high-level vs low-level thing.

The relational model is a high-level language for describing the structure of data. And a pretty elegant one if you can look past the awkwardness of dealing with current SQL databases (not a fault of the model itself).

That said if you want to scale and tune things you often need to drop down to a lower-level view in order to get things done, hence NoSQL. But that's not to say the relational model isn't still useful, or that it shouldn't inform any formal reasoning done about data in NoSQL systems.

I have some more thoughts on this here: http://matthew.yumptious.com/2009/07/databases/nosql-and-the...

To the downvoter - curious what exactly you disagreed with?

Up to you, but I'd say let that kind of thing slide. The ideal is that if someone disagrees, they'll explain themselves. Downvoting is supposed to be a mechanism for voting on whether a point adds to the discussion or not.

So either (a) your point did not add to the discussion, in which case further discussion about your point just adds to the noise without contributing signal, or (b) the person or persons downvoting disagree with you but are too lazy to contribute to the discussion by explaining their perspective. In which case, why worry about them?

Responses--whether positive or negative--are discussion gold. Downvotes aren't worth the worry.

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