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Interview: LINQ Creator Erik Meijer

In this InfoQ interview, LINQ creator Erik Meijer talks about the design and capabilities of LINQ, how to use it, why to use it, how it differs from XQuery, how it addresses ORM, extension methods, EDM, and more.

Watch Erik Meijer on LINQ (27 min)

Erik Meijer is the creator of LINQ at MS, where he works together with the Microsoft Visual C# and the Microsoft Visual Basic language design teams on data integration in programming languages. Erik is one of the designers of the functional programming language Haskell98 and more recently the Cw language.  Erik explains the reason for LINQ:
The idea of LINQ is to solve the "impedance mismatch" between the different data models. Look at the 3 prevalent data models: Objects, XML and Relational Data. Programmers have to struggle with that daily when they write programs, mess around, querying relational data, doing some computations, then exposing the XML, and then vice versa. This is a problem that I wanted to attack when I moved from Academia to industry. There are several ways people try to attack this problem traditionally, and one is by saying: "Let's take one of this data models and take them as the uber model". You can say one popular view is XML, and say "Oh well, if we can make everything look like XML, then all the problems are solved". Or if we can make everything look like objects then everything is solved.

I believe that's a dead end because there will be more data models in the future, it doesn't scale. Imagine that tomorrow a completely new data model comes out, and you don't know if you can still map that to XML or Objects. The secret is to look at what mathematics has to offer you to solve this problem, and then try to translate this into something that normal programmers can understand.
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