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Re: [HACKERS] Changing the default configuration (was Re:

From: Greg Copeland <greg(at)CopelandConsulting(dot)Net>
To: mlw <pgsql(at)mohawksoft(dot)com>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>,Merlin Moncure <merlin(dot)moncure(at)rcsonline(dot)com>,PostgresSQL Hackers Mailing List <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>,pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Changing the default configuration (was Re:
Date: 2003-02-11 17:36:17
Message-ID: 1044984976.2518.191.camel@mouse.copelandconsulting.net (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackerspgsql-performance
On Tue, 2003-02-11 at 11:23, mlw wrote:
> Greg Copeland wrote:
> 
> >  
> >
> >I'd personally rather have people stumble trying to get PostgreSQL
> >running, up front, rather than allowing the lowest common denominator
> >more easily run PostgreSQL only to be disappointed with it and move on.
> >
> >After it's all said and done, I would rather someone simply say, "it's
> >beyond my skill set", and attempt to get help or walk away.  That seems
> >better than them being able to run it and say, "it's a dog", spreading
> >word-of-mouth as such after they left PostgreSQL behind.  Worse yet,
> >those that do walk away and claim it performs horribly are probably
> >doing more harm to the PostgreSQL community than expecting someone to be
> >able to install software ever can.
> >
> <RANT>
> 
> And that my friends is why PostgreSQL is still relatively obscure.
> 
> This attitude sucks. If you want a product to be used, you must put the 
> effort into making it usable.
> 


Ah..okay....


> It is a no-brainer to make the default configuration file suitable for 
> the majority of users. It is lunacy to create a default configuration 
> which provides poor performance for over 90% of the users, but which 
> allows the lowest common denominator to work.
> 

I think you read something into my email which I did not imply.  I'm
certainly not advocating a default configuration file assuming 512M of
share memory or some such insane value.

Basically, you're arguing that they should keep doing exactly what they
are doing.  It's currently known to be causing problems and propagating
the misconception that PostgreSQL is unable to perform under any
circumstance.  I'm arguing that who cares if 5% of the potential user
base has to learn to properly install software.  Either they'll read and
learn, ask for assistance, or walk away.  All of which are better than
Jonny-come-lately offering up a meaningless benchmark which others are
happy to eat with rather large spoons.


> A product must not perform poorly out of the box, period. A good product 
> manager would choose one of two possible configurations, (a) a high 
> speed fairly optimized system from the get-go, or (b) it does not run 
> unless you create the configuration file. Option (c) out of the box it 
> works like crap, is not an option.
> 

That's the problem.  Option (c) is what we currently have.  I'm amazed
that you even have a problem with option (a), as that's what I'm
suggesting.  The problem is, potentially for some minority of users, it
may not run out of the box.  As such, I'm more than happy with this
situation than 90% of the user base being stuck with a crappy default
configuration.

Oddly enough, your option (b) is even worse than what you are ranting at
me about.  Go figure.

> This is why open source gets such a bad reputation. Outright contempt 
> for the user who may not know the product as well as those developing 
> it. This attitude really sucks and it turns people off. We want people 
> to use PostgreSQL, to do that we must make PostgreSQL usable. Usability 
> IS important.
> </RANT>


There is no contempt here.  Clearly you've read your own bias into this
thread.  If you go back and re-read my posting, I think it's VERY clear
that it's entirely about usability.


Regards,

-- 
Greg Copeland <greg(at)copelandconsulting(dot)net>
Copeland Computer Consulting


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