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Re: Feedback from LinuxWorld, London

From: "Jim C(dot) Nasby" <jnasby(at)pervasive(dot)com>
To: Mart?n Marqu?s <martin(at)bugs(dot)unl(dot)edu(dot)ar>
Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org,"Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)postgresql(dot)org>,Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>,Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Subject: Re: Feedback from LinuxWorld, London
Date: 2005-10-10 23:25:38
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
On Mon, Oct 10, 2005 at 06:24:55PM -0300, Mart?n Marqu?s wrote:
> El Lun 10 Oct 2005 16:42, Jim C. Nasby escribi?:
> > > 
> > > Couldn't these features be mostly added as a 'MySQL Compatibility add-on'? 
> > > For instance, the enum type you list above ... ?
> > 
> > There's issues with doing that. I know one problem is that you currently
> > can't pass parameters in when you define a column in a table, which you
> > need to be able to do for an enum.
> > 
> > But like I said, if we want to improve migration we should find out
> > where the users have pain and concentrate on that. That was actually the
> > context of the enum discussion. I threw enum out as an example and
> > everyone latched onto it, missing the overall point of trying to improve
> > migration from MySQL.
> The enum data type is just useless in most cases, and most MySQL programmers 
> use enum as a way to store booleans. Nothing more, and nothing less.
> Just yeasterday somebody was asking about what to do with a field defined as 
> CHAR(2) loaded with 'Si' and 'No' (Yes and No in spanish). Ofcourse, when I 
> told him about boolean, and the posibility of easily transforming the bool 
> variable into a 'Si' or 'No' chain using CASE. Now the problem is that these 
> people don't know about the diferent data types, and what's worst, some don't 
> have a clue on good database design.
> In my years of database programmer I have had to migrate a par of systems 
> working on MySQL, and I have to say that whenever I saw an enum data type, I 
> turned it to a boolean, and it allways would have been the best idea in the 
> first hand (ofcourse, the original programmer couldn't do so, as MySQL didn't 
> have the boolean data type).
> I know that enum could be used in a lot of other ways, but for what I see, 
> everybody uses it as a replacement for boolean.

Interesting, though Bugzilla used it for a bunch of stuff until they
decided to support databases other than MySQL. The plan is to eventually
just store an int that points back to a parent table (ie: the right way
to do it...)
Jim C. Nasby, Sr. Engineering Consultant      jnasby(at)pervasive(dot)com
Pervasive Software    work: 512-231-6117
vcard:       cell: 512-569-9461

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