Re: [HACKERS] Enticing interns to PostgreSQL

From: Bruno Wolff III <bruno(at)wolff(dot)to>
To: "Jim C(dot) Nasby" <decibel(at)decibel(dot)org>
Cc: Jeff Davis <jdavis-pgsql(at)empires(dot)org>,pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Enticing interns to PostgreSQL
Date: 2005-07-23 13:41:07
Message-ID: 20050723134107.GA21932@wolff.to
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On Fri, Jul 22, 2005 at 17:47:09 -0500,
"Jim C. Nasby" <decibel(at)decibel(dot)org> wrote:
>
> Sadly, I'd be willing to bet there's a lot of professors using MySQL to
> teach database theory. Just like there's a lot of other people who use
> it because they don't know any better. But everyone else uses it, so it
> must be good, right?

I don't see a problem for the professors or students using MySQL to learn
database theory. For a first course in database theory you could use
almost anything to practice issuing some DDL and DML commands.

It might be nice PR for Postgres to have professors using that instead
of MySQL. So as a Postgres developer or user you might not like this,
but its not as if the students are going to be scarred for life by
using MySQL to practice creating tables and doing simple queries.

> I fear that MySQL will be a repeat of linux... invest millions (if not
> billions) in something to finally get it caught up to a better
> alternative that had been around all along.

What great alternative to Linux do you think there was when Linus started
working on it? Free versions of BSD came out while Linux was still pretty
raw, but they had issues of their own. It might have been better to take
up a collection to free some existing OS, but that wasn't likely to happen
at that time.

> Why should this matter to PostgreSQL and it's users? Because if MySQL
> becomes the defacto open source database, that means it will be much
> more difficult to use PostgreSQL in professional environments, and that
> many people who might have developed for PostgreSQL will end up
> developing for MySQL.

That seems unlikely to happen with the owners of MySQL threatening users
with money to cough some up or risk being sued.

I don't think the open source database market is going to be reduced to
effectively one system any time soon.

The main problem I see is that some applications have been developed such
that they are tied to MySQL (either form using its quirks extensively or
being designed so that performance sucks on other databases) so that we
are stuck running some MySQL servers to run these applications. However
just because we run them to support specific applications (e.g. Horde),
doesn't mean we need or want to develop are own applications using
MySQL.

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