I found the book to be a relatively easy read. I may have missed some critical points.
What interested me was the idea of deliberating training oneself to be a great designer. This is a new concept. I have just fallen into design. There has been no conscious decision to do design. And then to actively study design.
Up to now, I have not designed any real database systems. I have designed small subsystems mainly to do with searching music titles, storing financial transactions for credit cards, etc. All really conceptually uninteresting, but very challenging in physical implementation. I was more of a carpenter rather than an architect.
Once one has made the decision to become a designer, Brooks suggests that one seek out the best in the field and study their designs. This is extremely difficult to do in the database field because all database designs are hidden away. I know of no published database designs. There are books on database designs but these are recipe books not a diary of what was done and why.
In studying design, Brooks says to concentrate on the constraints the designer worked under, and try to find out what was the conceptual vision they were working towards.
From database designs I have seen to date, not all of the design is in the database. By this, I mean that the rules about object behaviour is sometimes encoded in the application itself not in the constrints explicated in the data dictionary. Some constraints may even be in user behaviour.
Studying database design is a very tall order. How to do it?