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pgAdmin vs. the competition

From: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: pgAdmin vs. the competition
Date: 2008-03-28 01:17:24
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Lists: pgsql-advocacy
This list is kind of dead lately, it seems ripe for something to argue 
about.  I toyed with sending this directly to a pgAdmin list but neither 
of them seemed right to derail with what is essentially a discussion of 
how to address competative comparisions.

I'm now firmly in the middle of the MySQL vs. PostgreSQL flamewars at this 
point, and that involves lots of suggestions for working around what 
people percieve as the PG flaws.  Recently I suggested to someone that if 
they needed a GUI management tool, pgAdmin III was what they should try. 
It's hard to get critical yet fair feedback out of people, I thought the 
rsponse I got back was quite good:

"I'm writing to give a bit of feedback.  Cut my teeth in MySQL via the 
console many years ago, moved to msSQL's semi-good GUI and then to its 
superior 2005 SQL Manager (best DB GUI admin on the market IMHO), then to 
MySQL Admin which isn't bad actually.  I'm currently at a PostgreSQL shop 
and I'm so disspointed in pgAdmin (I'm running the newest build too).

For starters it seems to lack UI elements that have been in the GUI world 
since Windows 3.11.  Whenever PostgreSQL is busy the UI fails to give any 
clue, no icon changes to a spinning hourglass, no status bar filling up, 
not even a mindless pop-up saying "busy...".  This is painfully obvious 
when doing a BACKUP or RESTORE.  And even when either task completes, the 
UI/text doesn't do much to even let me know it worked.  In fact it just 
re-enables the buttons again, where at first I'd click them and it would 
try to do the backup/restore again, which really made me believe the whole 
operation failed."

I forward this along not to pick on pgAdmin, which is hampered in 
particular by being so cross-platform which Microsoft doesn't have to 
worry about, but to point out this is a not particularly obvious way 
PostgreSQL comparisions sometimes fail.  This is not even close to the 
first time I've heard comments about how large the distance is between 
pgAdmin and the SQL Manager software in particular is, just the first time 
I could share the report.

Something to chew on for those thinking about development resource 

* Greg Smith gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com Baltimore, MD


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