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Re: How to modify ENUM datatypes?

From: Craig Ringer <craig(at)postnewspapers(dot)com(dot)au>
To: Robert Treat <xzilla(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-general(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: How to modify ENUM datatypes?
Date: 2008-04-30 15:00:46
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-general
Robert Treat wrote:

> If one were to have built something on postgresql 5 years ago, they would have 
> had to do it on 7.3.  Whenever anyone posts a problem on 7.3, the first thing 
> people do now days is jump up and down waving thier arms about while 
> exclaiming how quickly they should upgrade.


 > I'd have to
 > say that the core developers for this project do not release software
 > with the expectation that you will use if for more than 5 years.

 From what I've seen on the list so far upgrades are advised precisely 
because somebody has had to ask for help with a problem - one that's 
usually resolved in newer versions. Doubly so because the issues raised 
are usually performance related or are caused by limitations in 7.3 (or 
whatever they're running).

If upgrading solves a problem that somebody is asking for help with, 
then advising the user to upgrade makes sense.

Consider operating systems. An OS vendor might expect a given version to 
be used for five years or more, but if you ask them for help because 
you're encountering awful performance with 2TB disks or high CPU load on 
10GigE networks they're quite likely to advise you to upgrade the OS to 
a version with enhancements that solve your problems.

That says nothing about the people out there still using 7.3 and similar 
without problems, running well within its capabilities and happy with 
what it's doing. I doubt many people would advise them to upgrade - at 
least not in a hurry and not with any jumping and hand-waving.

I often see responses along the lines of "if you're using 8.3 then just 
do <blah> otherwise you'll need to...." - so there doesn't appear to be 
any assumption that the first step must be to upgrade to the latest version.

My impression from using PostgreSQL is that people using old versions 
are taken seriously. Data corruption, crash and security bug fixes get 
applied to very old versions. For example, 7.3.21 was released on  Jan 
2008, and includes several fixes:

Given that 7.3 was released in late 2002:

I think that's pretty good myself.

Given that PostgreSQL upgrades aren't trivial, it's important to have 
these ongoing releases for older versions. It's great to see that need 
so well met.

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