[kwlug-disc] Newbie... Playing with Linux etc...

Fernando Duran liberosec at yahoo.ca
Tue Apr 20 12:28:28 EDT 2010

For some applications, PostgreSQL is just too slow (e.g. high traffic Drupal sites). Not a realistic option.

-> "Postgress is slow" for me is just a (now) unsupported claim that comes from the past. All the benchmarks etc I read regarding mysql vs pg performance vary a lot depending on configurations, hardware, data set, types of queries etc so I don't think you can say that all over the board pg is slower. I don't see people migrating pg -> mysql but I see the opposite. I don't hear clients complaining about pg but I hear them complaining about mysql. It's possible that I'm suffering from confirmation bias. 

-> For a typical Drupal / PHP app it may very well be that pg is slower, that's fine. I'll trade marginal speed for data integrity almost anytime and I can be easily convinced that in some cases (like a web forum) you may want the opposite trade-off. 

-> The "not a realistic option": there are many high-traffic web sites that use pg: imdb.com, cdbaby.com etc, so that's just not true.

We have this discussion every year within Drupal. We do support both MySQL and PostgreSQL (and sqlite lately) in core. Contributed modules have sparse support for PostgreSQL though.

We then have people come and preach virtues of PostgreSQL (free, capable, ...etc.) and all that, but in the end no one is willing to step in and do the work needed. We have about one maintainer that comes in does some work and then disappear and PostgreSQL is left in the lurch.

-> Agreed. It may not be worth it to support pg in drupal or other apps.

We hear this speech of "PostgreSQL is better, MySQL is crap" too often, but when it comes to people putting their code where their mouth is, the reality is different.

-> Like somebody said, this is like "we keep hearing about Linux is better, Windows is crap", perhaps there's some truth in it? but seriously, instead of listening to sides of a "war", I try to listen to experienced and practical people who have been on both sides, and in the case pg pg vs mysql these people seem to agree that in general pg > mysql. Usually the people defending mysql haven't used that much pg, same as with Windows/Linux so I can see a parallel ("Oh no, can it be true that I'm on the dark side?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZ8EkK3eWY ).

Would be great to have this discussion at the KWLUG meeting on May 3rd as part of the MySQL presentation.

-> Yes, I'll bring my "just say no to mysql" t-shirts :-)



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