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Re: Re: Getting started with Postgres or MySQL

Ron Johnson wrote:
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On 02/01/07 12:16, Angelo Bertolli wrote:
I've been debating whether or not to make a comment on this discussion,
but it finally got to me.  I think you're being way too hard on MySQL
considering the fact that this question originated from the idea of
using a database backend for OpenOffice.org.  Yeah, I didn't like "MySQL
is definitely your best choice" kind of answer with no clear indication
as to why MySQL is a better choice in this case, so I'll give a couple
of reasons:

(1) MySQL is shown to be faster in a single-user environment than
Postgres, especially with complicated SELECT statements

(2) MySQL is a shorter learning curve for new users

I think MSFT used to use those same arguments about why people
should use Windows

The fundamental difference is licensing. If Windows was open source, I certainly wouldn't bother disagreeing with them if they specified which users would benefit more from Windows. And on that issue MySQL wins because you can have it under the GPL. Postgres is under BSD. (I guess that's arguable, but we are on a Debian list after all.)

think anyone who only knows MySQL really needs to start getting into
Postgres if they ever intend on making a large database.

Bad habits ingrained now are bad habits that you carry with you for
a long time.  Start with good habits now and you're better for it

The PostgreSQL Novice list welcomes questions like those from OP.

I don't know... I have so many mixed feelings about this. Yeah, it's nice if we could educate everyone through the design of the software, but at some point that's just a barrier to entry for too many people. And just using Postgres really doesn't take care of all of the problems anyway: you can still push foreign key management to the application. Who is going to teach you to use foreign keys?

(By the way, you actually get different transactional results based on what kind of storage you tell MySQL to use. InnoDB is better but slower than MyISAM. Gee, I wonder if there could be a tradeoff there.)

MySQL got the upper hand for having "better" priorities early on, and now they're enjoying their popularity. It didn't really matter that Firewire was better than USB: USB was a little bit cheaper, got bigger market share, and because of that was later able to improve. (By the way, watch now Nintendo takes over Sony's marketshare now. ;)

Not to get too offtopic, maybe if Postgres had been more reliable prior to version 7 it would have taken over. I don't really think anyone cared about how fast MySQL was on large-but-simple databases--although it certainly helped. But what people did care about is that a) it was free (as in beer), and b) that it worked.

I don't want to come off as an authority on the subject, because I don't consider myself an expert on DBMS, just a casual user. They've just been interesting to me for the past 10 years, and I do currently use both MySQL and Postgres.


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