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Oracle and PostgreSQL...

From: Chris Travers <chris(at)travelamericas(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Oracle and PostgreSQL...
Date: 2005-10-19 21:25:58
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Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-general
Andrew Sullivan wrote:

>I think this probably belongs back on -advocacy, so I'm cc:ing there
>so we can move it.
>On Tue, Oct 18, 2005 at 03:16:23PM -0700, Chris Travers wrote:
>>Interesting.  So they are willing to appear ill-informed in public but 
>>better informed in private?  To what end?  That seems strange to me....
>To the end of dismissing the serious-but-free competition in public. 
>If Oracle is talking to the computer press, they have enough
>experience to know just how much they can play with stating the way
>the world is, and have it quoted verbatim as revealed truth.  Apart
>from database weenies like us, people reading the Oracle
>pronouncement conflating PostgreSQL and other database systems will
>just think it's true.
You mean like that RDBMS comparison on Dev-X by the marketing head of 
Daffodil?  Somehow I don't think that this is limited to Oracle...

>  After all, Oracle said it, and the press guy
>from InfoWorld must have checked it out, right?  If you think I'm
>being unduly cynical, note that the Gartner comments in their
>consulting for ICANN in the .org reassignment basically argued that
>PostgreSQL was a significant risk because it wasn't Oracle.  There's
>nothing _wrong_ with that way of thinking -- corporations are mostly
>about stability, which means following conventional (==safe) wisdom. 
Sure.  But in this case, Gartner came across as poorly informed.  I 
think that this sort of strategy can only go on so long before people 
assume that Gartner is largely acting as paid shills, and Gartner looses 
a bunch of buisness.  You have to understand how this process likely 
works.  ICANN hires Gartner.  Gartner asks Oracle what they think.  
Oracle directs the question to their PR agents, who then ask if anyone 
has any information.  The PR agents who don't understand the technology 
are then in charge of repackaging the data up to suit Oracle's agenda. 
They probably then do some analysis on this data, maybe ask a few of 
Oracle's customers what they think, and call it a day.  I think that 
this happens because the industry is far to vast for anyone to really 
know all of it well, especially as an industry analyst.  So these firms 
get their data from the big, entrenched companies.  However, I think 
that these firms will suffer huge reputation issues as the industry changes.

>But that mindset is something that Oracle is skilled at exploiting,
>and I'm not surprised they do it against PostgreSQL (even if their
>behaviour sounds irrational to someone who really knows the
>capabilities of the various systems).
I am sure that they do.  But they will do the same against any other 
RDBMS.  In other words, if Oracle has formed an internal team to focus 
on "how to beat PostgreSQL" I don't think they have done it very long ago. 

>But that isn't really why I replied to this :)
>>This is one reason why I would like to see some of us push PostgreSQL 
>>into a role of *the* RDBMS to study for RDBMS theory.  Unfortunately 
>>this means a lot of documentation written by experts interested in 
>>really teaching beginners the right way to do things....  I don't 
>>consider myself qualified to do this by myself.
>I like this idea.  I wonder how to get it moving.

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