Re: [HACKERS] Enticing interns to PostgreSQL

From: "Jim C(dot) Nasby" <decibel(at)decibel(dot)org>
To: Mitch Pirtle <mitch(dot)pirtle(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: PostgreSQL advocacy <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Enticing interns to PostgreSQL
Date: 2005-07-23 16:43:36
Message-ID: 20050723164336.GG37022@decibel.org
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On Fri, Jul 22, 2005 at 07:34:57PM -0400, Mitch Pirtle wrote:
> Say I am wanting to produce a commercial product, and want to license
> an open-source database to cash in on the whole open source trend as
> well as lower costs. I want to have a license, so that I can also use
> that license as part of the marketing approach to show that this is a
> 'legitimate' product. With MySQL I can do that, but with PostgreSQL
> who can I go to?

In this example, I believe there is a legal entity that owns the
PostgreSQL license, so that's who you would go to. Though that entity
isn't very well advertised...

Of course, this example is pretty pointless because the whole purpose
behind the BSD license is that you can do whatever you want with
PostgreSQL (unlike MySQL).

> And if I am someone wanting to learn database programming, there are
> tons of open source databases out there to choose from. Which one do I
> choose? One factor for me will be the commercial value of my skills
> that I develop, as if I cannot make money at my trade then this is
> just a hobby.

I suspect that PostgreSQL contractors make more money than MySQL ones.
And Oracle ones certainly make even more still.

> What I'd love to see for PostgreSQL is a more aggressive push on the
> business side, to get PostgreSQL into the same enterprise accounts
> that MySQL is starting to get into. Like Zend is to PHP, who is
> analogous in the PostgreSQL world?

Well, that's part of what many of the commercial companies with some
form of a PostgreSQL offering hope to do. EnterpriseDB is a good
example; their Oracle compatability is clearly targeted at large
business users.

But the problem is that grassroots OSS movements change the market once
they get large enough. 10, or even 5 years ago it was impossible to get
linux into big business, for many of the reasons you mentioned. But
that's changed, even though *BSD was technically superior. It changed
because there was a virtual army of linux users who wanted very badly to
be able to use linux at work. MySQL has more 'foot-soldiers' than
PostgreSQL does, even if a lot of them are alienated.

I think we need to do 2 things to ensure PostgreSQL doesn't get
relegated to niche status. First, we need to counter MySQL's FUD. MySQL
has a laundry-list of 'companies that are using mysql', even though it
doesn't mean anything more than they've got it sitting on a server
somewhere. Of course there's also they're misrepresentive benchmarks.

Second (and probably more important), we need to make it easier for
people to migrate to PostgreSQL from MySQL. There's a sizeable number of
people who would like to migrate things off of MySQL if it wasn't so
difficult, and hard to do incrementally. Adding support for some MySQL
features (such as enum and tinyint), making it easy for PostgreSQL
databases to talk to MySQL databases (perhaps via dblink), and providing
methods to connect to PostgreSQL without having to tear out big chunks
of un-abstracted code are some things that would help here.
--
Jim C. Nasby, Database Consultant decibel(at)decibel(dot)org
Give your computer some brain candy! www.distributed.net Team #1828

Windows: "Where do you want to go today?"
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FreeBSD: "Are you guys coming, or what?"

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