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Re: Pseudo-Off-topic-survey: Opinions about future of Postgresql(MySQL)?

From: Chris Browne <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>
To: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Pseudo-Off-topic-survey: Opinions about future of Postgresql(MySQL)?
Date: 2004-08-16 15:52:14
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Lists: pgsql-admin
               e_arizon_benito(at)yahoo(dot)com (Enrique Arizn) writes:
>> But in the last ten years, I have never once heard mention of
>> Ingres in a commercial context.  I was aware of it via "University
>> Ingres" and because of knowing a little history, both of which came
>> from academia, not from the commercial world.
>> Consider:
>> - shows 13 jobs mentioning Ingres;
>> - PostgreSQL gets you 55 hits.
>  Curious, my first post was in part motivated because I also use Job
> Searching engines to calculate the success of a product and I found
> Ingres was much more used in comercial deployments than
> Postgresql. In
>  - Postgresql related jobs:  5 vacancies
>  - Ingres related jobs:     55 vacancies
>  - SAPDB/MaxDB related jobs: 0 vacancies
> concentrates in European countries, and mainly around
> "London financial World", so it looks in Europe Ingres in much more
> widely used while the opposite is true with Postgresql in the USA.
>> Back to the Ingres question, it is _possible_ that the Ingres code
>> base may be usable / maintainable / improvable.  It is by no means
>> guaranteed that this is so.
>  I think you are completly wrong in this point. 

Hmm?  What could conceivably have been wrong about what I wrote?

I didn't say that the code base was unmaintainable; I intentionally
waffled about the matter, so I _couldn't_ be wrong.

 - It's _possible_ that the Ingres code may prove to be fairly easy to
   maintain and enhance;

 - It's also possible that after a dozen years of past optimizations
   and people hacking on it, it is almost impossible to do so.

The latter was the case for Adabas-D, when it got "open sourced," so
there certainly is precedent.  And the "tough learning curve" property
has been true for numerous software packages that have been released
in "open source" form.

I think it took about a year before people were able to do builds of
Mozilla, and even then, it was _seriously_ feature deficient because
"open sourcing" it required stripping a lot of stuff out, and there
was a hefty learning curve.

I would find it surprising for a "mature" software product like Ingres
to NOT be a challenge to would-be newcomers.

> One of the great things of Ingres with respect to its near/far
> future is that is a core element in more than 100 CA applications,
> where it comes blunded. So it makes lots of sense for CA not to drop
> it and continue to improve it so they don't get dependent on a
> Oracle 48.000$ licence/CPU that obiosly will more than double the
> final cost of many CA products. CA has nearly doubled the number of
> Ingres developers since it was first planned to opensource it
> (that's at least what CA proclaims) and they are working to port
> many of its products, right now tied to Oracle databases, to
> Ingres. That will means for CA dramatically reducing cost, and an
> instant grow of its client base.

If it wasreally such a great product, then why didn't they start
porting their Oracle-based products to use Ingres a year ago when they
could have gotten the benefit of charging hefty licensing fees for
Ingres as well?

And the"dramatically reducing cost" and "instant grow of client base"
are both illusions.

 1.  CA doesn't save money by porting their applications to run on
     Ingres; it _costs_ them money to do so.

 2.  CA doesn't instantly grow its client base, unless there is some
      magical reason to imagine that new customers will suddenly want
      to start buying products from CA because these products have
      been ported to run on Ingres.

>  When I go to the Ingres website it gives me the impression is a
> project really alive, and of course I downloaded the Ingres
> documentation and found it better documented and up to date than the
> Postgresql one. A thing I really liked is that they constantly
> compare Ingres to Oracle and DB2 in the docs, emphasizing the points
> where Ingres is not yet as mature as their rivals (XML support for
> example). This is not a tipical behavior of a company that drop away
> a product in the opensource just because they make no more profit.

CA are pretty good at marketing, so I haven't the slightest bit of
trouble believing that they would be able to successfully give this

SAP AG did very similar things with SAP-DB, and that did not prevent
reality from being quite different from impressions.
"I'm sorry,  Mr.   Kipling, but you  just  don't know how to   use the
English Language."  -- Editor of the San Francisco Examiner, informing
Rudyard Kipling, who had one  article published in the newspaper, that
he needn't bother submitting a second, 1889

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