I am having an interesting discussion with another database designer about normalization. In this example, we have a GameTitles table and each record must contain the year in which the game was released. He says 2NF mandates that everything must be normalized, so, to be compliant, the year field should be split off into a ReleaseYears table with its own primary key that is referenced by the GameTitles table. I say it should remain as a field on the GameTitles table itself.
My argument for this is that a year is just a non-primitive numeric value that is static by its very nature (ie, 2011 will always be 2011). Due to this, it serves as its own identifier and needs nothing to reference it since it is what it is. This also introduces additional maintenance since you now have to add a new year to the table just to reference it. If you prepopulate the table with a large range of years then you have extra records that potentially won't have references to them at all. This also increases database size since you now have an extra table, record overhead, and the additional primary key for the year itself. If you keep the year as a field on the GameTitles table, you eliminate all this additional maintenance and overhead.
Thoughts on this?
edit: Meant to post this on StackOverflow. Can someone vote to delete this or flag it for attention?