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Re: High-Profile Advocacy Opportunity: Vbulletin Forum

From: "Donnacha Mac Gloinn" <postgresql(dot)org(at)donnacha(dot)com>
To: "pgsql-advocacy" <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: High-Profile Advocacy Opportunity: Vbulletin Forum
Date: 2004-06-17 12:43:02
Message-ID: 1087476182.3862.198617357@webmail.messagingengine.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> You got to be kidding.  Are you saying that they can't work around the
> lack of this SELECT syntax, but that they _did_ work around the lack of
> stored procedures (and who knows what else) in MySQL?

I don't know enough about DBs to precisely understand their concerns but
the developer who seems most enthusiastic about PgSQL, Scott McVicar,
has mentioned that it doesn't yet handle extended inserts. Scott: "The
system that handles that area is due a re-write soon and it may include
support for multiple inserts."

You're quite right, they HAVE heavily optimized their application to
handle MySQL's foibles, they don't use an abstraction layer, a PgSQL
edition of vB would involve a major rewrite, I don't know why inserts
are a particularly huge issue for them but I will ask them to clarify
their position.


"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> Is there _no other_ feature they miss in PostgreSQL?

I will try to get as full a picture as possible.


"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> it's never been
> implemented because there has been no real push for it.  I don't foresee
> it being implemented in any short term future.

Well, it's useful to be aware of what companies PERCEIVE to be problems
with PgSQL.  We are only aware of vB's issue with Inserts because they
run a particularly open and active forum, it's almost certain that other
people have developed precisely the same doubts/preconceptions with
regard to PgSQL.

As advocates, it makes sense for us to develop a deep understanding of
how people who AREN'T PgSQL developers perceive it; it isn't enough for
PgSQL to be better, to remain healthy every OSS project needs to keep
attracting fresh users/contributors.  I see vB as being particulary
fertile ground because it has an absolutely huge community of hackers
who are currently focussing their energies upon countering MySQL's
weaknesses.  If they could move their attention to PgSQL, we would all
gain.


"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> Anyway, if they want a feature, they can as well fund development of it.

Agreed, as a company they certainly have a lot to gain by not putting
all their eggs in one database, and the lack of clarity surrounding
MySQL's licensing is worrying.


"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> INSERT with multiple values can't be that hard

It's probably something they could produce inhouse if they put their
minds to it, their developers generally seem to know what they're doing
and vBulletin 3 itself is a beautiful piece of work.


"Joshua D. Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com> said:
> If they are that lazy, then why don't they just 
> write a quick procedure to
> dynamically write out their queries?

I think it's quite short-sighted to presume developers are lazy just
because they haven't yet got to grips with PgSQL, they've only recently
completed a major release (3.0) and have a huge number of customer
requests to deal with.  Awareness of PgSQL is not that high and, so far,
the number of knowledgeable people pushing it within both their dev team
and their userbase is relatively low - this means that PgSQL must be
pushed on it's merits rather than popular perception.  As advocates, we
can oil the wheels by putting a clear, comprehensive and compelling case
for the adoption of PgSQL.  It's worth doing that because, as the leader
in it's field, where vB goes other forum packages will follow, each
bringing with them a huge community of users.  Within its
small-to-medium Web Developer niche, VB WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT FLAGSHIP
FOR PGSQL.


"Alvaro Herrera" <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl> said:
> How hard it'd likely be depends on whether you'd want to just do it for
> INSERT or actually fully handle VALUES. AFAICS values can be used as a
> <query expression> which means as the body of table subqueries, on either
> side of UNION/EXCEPT/INSERSECT and other such places in addition to its
> usage in INSERT.

"Christopher Kings-Lynne" <chriskl(at)familyhealth(dot)com(dot)au> said:
> MySQL requires that feature to have any chance of fast-loading data in a 
> script.  They have no COPY command (LOAD INFILE is different) so they 
> need a bulk insert to get some actual load speed.

I will pass on all the technical suggestions and insights I get here.


"Christopher Browne" <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org> said:
> This begs the question: 
> 
>  - Are they using arbitrary INSERT statements of this sort?
> 
>  - Or could this be achieved by performing a stored procedure that
>    might even be a better abstraction?
> 
> If the goal of the exercise is to do something like creating lines in
> a message, then I'd suggest the thought of doing something like:
> 
>   select add_line(key, 'contents', 'some attribute'),
>          add_line(key, 'more contents', 'some attribute'),
>          add_line(key, 'still more contents', 'some attribute'),
>          add_line(key, 'even contents', 'some attribute');
> 
> Frankly, I would find it surprising if this was a true "bottleneck"
> against choosing PostgreSQL.

I will ask the vB devs to address these questions and get back to you
with their answers.


"Kaarel" <kaarel(at)future(dot)ee> said:
> At the last page there is a link to this site  
> http://www.livejournal.com/users/alathren/ (the same article is also 
> available at http://www.livejournal.com/users/alathren/853.html). 
> Basically the author describes why and how they migreated their CMS from 
> MySQL to PostgreSQL. I think this article could be well placed to the 
> PostgreSQL advocacy website?

Excellent article, it particularly stresses the suitability of PgSQL for
large applications such as CMSes or, indeed, heavily-trafficked forums.


Thanks Bruce, Alvaro, Joshua, Kaarel and the two Christophers, I will
get back to you with a clearer picture of vB's position, I hope you
agree that their adoption of PgSQL would be a positive development.

Donnacha.

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