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I'd love to educate myself more on how SQL mangles rel. alg. and whether there's another purer implementation. Any links?

Rel is a DBMS based on Codd and Date's Tutorial D. https://reldb.org/c/

For a discussion on how SQL speficially falls short of the relational ideal, see this link: http://www.nocoug.org/Journal/NoCOUG_Journal_201308.pdf

Pascal and Date have been making these arguments forever: http://www.dbdebunk.com .

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