Some time ago Jason Kottke posted an entry for which quite a few people bashed him about unnecessary database normalization. I've thought a lot about it since it represents some of my own internal sentiments and instincts. The two things I observe on a regular basis that I find annoying are bad naming conventions within databases and unnecessary complexity because of overzealous normalization.

It's hard to have an argument discussion on the topic with people lacking experience because the penalties for bad normalization are usually paid in the long term whereas the "effeciency" of storage with normalized data seems to be an ideal to strive for when one's perspective is short.

I was therefore heartened to see some caution from Patt Heland (courtesy of Dare Obasanjo who elaborates) on the topic. It may be a good idea to have a meeting at work and discuss some of the details given... maybe not to come to some "conclusion" or "database standard" that can apply to every situation, but more to generate good discussion and ideas.