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Re: Call from Info World

From: Christopher Browne <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Call from Info World
Date: 2003-11-30 18:54:10
Message-ID: m3zned8z71.fsf@wolfe.cbbrowne.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Oops! pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us (Bruce Momjian) was seen spray-painting on a wall:
> Peter Eisentraut wrote:
>> Bruce Momjian writes:
>> 
>> > One of the problems with using KDE or Samba is that there isn't
>> > well-known commercial that has a similar function for comparison.
>> 
>> Windows
>
> Well, not really 1 for 1.  Windows is more than a window manager and
> file server.  I think the Oracle-PostgreSQL 1:1 linkage is closer than
> Windows-KDE.

Originally, Samba was a "clone" of Pathworks, with the intent of
running it on AIX, not just on Digital Unix.  (Happily, that purpose
is still meaningful, as AIX has survived the "Unix wars" :-).)

Historically, what people knowing history would think of as the
"Microsoft analogue" would be LANMAN, which I think was originally
OS/2 LAN Manager, but which later became Windows LAN Manager, and then
morphed into NT Advanced Server.

Even if that is all a bit nebulous, it's fair to call Samba the a
pretty good equivalent to what would be generically called "Windows
File Services."

As for GNOME or KDE, they don't particularly correspond to anything
clear on Windows.  KDE certainly has something of an inheritance of
ideas from CDE (Common Desktop Environment), which was a UNIX(tm)
thing.

And that points to a bit of a problem in comparing PostgreSQL to
Oracle; PG is quite clearly a "database server," whereas Oracle's
product line has gotten increasingly nebulous, over time, as they have
assortedly thrown in Java "application server" support as well as XML
support.  In the distant past, the "important extra" was SQL*Forms.
I'm not quite sure what the modern equivalent is...

It is Really Valuable (to Larry Ellison's bottom line!) if you buy
into extended services that lead to vendor lock-in and prevent you
from even _imagining_ a migration to another DBMS.  If the porting
effort would cost $50M, he can quite safely hike annual licensing fees
by $5M...

Long and short of it all is that trying to define equivalents that can
be summed up in one word is dangerous to the thinking process.  It may
be all that "Pointy Haired Bosses" can cope with, but the aftermath of
the recent space shuttle disaster demonstrates that there's a true
problem here.

The analysis of the investigation of the foam damage pushed it into a
"bullet point" that effectively hid the life-threatening nature of the
situation.  The investigating board was rather critical about this:

  "The board views the endemic use of PowerPoint briefing slides
  instead of technical papers as an illustration of the problematic
  methods of technical communication at NASA."

There are times you need to dumb things down, but apparently NASA got
on the wrong side of the curve.  They _are_ "rocket scientists," and
dumbing things down leads to dead astronauts.
-- 
(format nil "~S(at)~S" "cbbrowne" "ntlug.org")
http://cbbrowne.com/info/spreadsheets.html
Did you  hear about the  Buddhist who refused his  dentist's novocaine
during root canal work? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

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Subject: Re: Comparing databases
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Subject: Re: Call from Info World

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