On drupal.stackexchange.com, I often begin by asking a "how to" question which gets replies suggesting a different data structure design, so the discussion becomes removed from the actual question I asked and devolves into a discussion about what appears to be the "Drupal way" (vs. the traditional way of connecting relational tables). So this question of data structure design ends up being fundamental to the issue I'm trying to solve.
My questions are consistently put on hold for being "off topic".
Specifically, it has long been recommended to me to keep the join for data tables outside the entity. Using Drupal, the recommendations I get suggest adding the join table onto the original data table—which is quite contrary to relational data instructions.
There doesn't seem to be any documentation which I can find which discusses these issues. I've spent weeks perusing drupal.org, drupal.stackexchange.com, been through the table of contents of every book on Drupal 7 on drupal.org, Reilly media, Amazon, Johann Falks screencast lists (and many of the screencasts), videos from Code Karate, etc.
Should I not be asking these questions at all on drupal.stackexchange.com? Aren't these issues fundamental to understanding Drupal?
Can you suggest where I might look for resources? Thanks for your help.