Forum OpenACS Development: Re: Joining to acs_objects and package-aware packages
I think your suggestion is outstanding! I very much like the idea of adding a parent_id column to acs_objects and having a package_id column there as well would be a very useful denormalization to package developers.
Concerning the acs object name and description debate I've started erring on the side of having such columns (or at least the name column). Lists with objects of different object types are sometimes useful, the prime example being site-wide search. For such lists you must retrieve the names of the objects in a scalable fashion. I can only see that the current OpenACS datamodel fulfills such a use case if either of the following assumptions hold:
1) The acs_object.name function is performant enough to be used for listings of objects of mixed object types.
2) We intend to store all user submitted content in the CR (the CR has a name column for all content) regardless of whether that content needs versioning.
I am not convinced that either of the above assumptions hold. Unless I'm missing something my conclusion remains that a name column is a good idea.