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Red Hat Software Businesses

Red Hat DB = PostgreSQL - Confirmed 163

WeaselOne writes: "Okay, it's on the record. This Cnet story cites an Aberdeen analyst as confirming that the Red Hat database will, in fact, be PostgreSQL. Also has some interesting stuff about why they didn't just partner with Great Bridge."
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Red Hat DB = PostgreSQL - Confirmed

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  • If you are expecting money or fame DON'T RELEASE YOUR CODE UNDER THE GPL. Choose another license. Jiminey H. Christmas.

    You have no clue why people release code under the GPL do you?
  • I've been a die-hard PostgreSQL fan for quite some time now, often having to defend my decision to go with a more robust database than the first answer off almost everyone's tongue: MySQL.

    I'd like if someone could help clarify what is exactly happenning though. Great Bridge employs half the Postgres developers. They claim to have a "commercially QA-tested" version of Postgres -- what exactly is this? What does it do or not do that the stock PostgreSQL does or does not do? And now along comes Red Hat -- perhaps my least favoured distribution of all -- and says it's going to be packaging PostgreSQL in with their distro, claiming to make enhancements that make it faster with Linux. What exactly are these guys planning? Hopefully not more distro-specific kernels!

    Personally I'd love to see anyone come with a way to do an online backup of PostgreSQL's databases. The current favourite is to do a pg_dumpall -o and gzip/bzip2 it out to tape. I really couldn't give a rat's ass if PostgreSQL suddenly had .RPMs to install rather than compile from source but the tighter integration with Linux intriguing. Hopefully it will be done right.

    Does anyone have any more information either on what Great Bridge's or Red Hat's versions of PosgreSQL have over the normal releases?

  • Well I agree that 'Red Hat Database' is no doubt a more marketable name. But without it being any different than PostgreSQL in any way, I still don't see the point.

    Hmm. In one sentence, he clearly states the point, then in the next, claims he doesn't see it. Odd.

    In any case, I doubt "Red Hat Database" is no different from "PostgreSQL". PostgreSQL is an SQL server, whereas Red Hat Database will be a Linux distribution that includes PostgreSQL, among other things. They're not renaming it any more than they're renamed GCC by distributing it in a box marked "Red Hat Linux"...


  • Say "Post", then say "SQL" but add "gr" to the "ess": post-gres-que-el. At least, that's how I pronounce it...


  • Just because one's needs are simple doesn't mean they aren't serious...

    Having used both, I think they're both excellent programs. Use whichever is most appropriate for the task at hand. Personally, I've never been a big fan of using tactical nuclear weapons when a flyswatter will do the job. Pointing out that the flyswatter is only a flyswatter won't convince me to stop using it when all I need is a flyswatter...


  • I don't understand how they could throw out the maturing NT kernel for something completely new.

    They're website [microsoft.com] claims that it's not completely new, but is in fact built on top of the Windows 2000 (aka NT) codebase. Which is not surprising since it's the only "real" OS they've ever had. For them to drop it at this point would be, completely, totally, utterly insane...

    I'd still rather run OS X -- Apple GUI-ness on the outside, BSD unix on the inside -- yummy...


  • s/They're/Their/

    Sorry, not enough caffine today...


  • Ugh... I'd correct the spelling in the post I just correcting the spelling in the post made before that, but I'm afraid I'd be caught in an infinite loop. Instead, I'm going to bed...


  • Since SQL Server doesn't provide good JDBC support (and 3rd party JDBC drivers for SQL Server are extremely expensive) it doesn't have a chance.

    Perhaps you might want to look at the J2EE reference implementation [sun.com], which is free. Right up front in the readme are the 3 supplied drivers - Oracle, Cloudscape and SQL Server v7.0. They've been there for a couple of years at least (1.2 release was middle-late 1999 IIRC). And, being a reference implementation, those drivers have to support the full specication - including XA transaction support. So, the drivers are hardly crap, maybe just not well optimised enough or that the underlying database is crap.

  • People use stuff cos they know the name. The very smart and knowledgable guy at my university who teaches database theory recommended MySQL to some people when they asked him about installing stuff on their own machines. I showed them PostgreSQL and they all agreed it was more feature-filled.
    So why did he recommend MySQL? He'd heard of it, and hadn't heard of PostgreSQL.
    There is little I've needed PostgreSQL to do that it hasn't done when implementing databases for commercial purposes.
  • By that logic Red Hat should be selling versions of Windows cos it's more popular.
    MySQL has speed advantages in certain conditions, as does PostgreSQL, but Red Hat need features that enable them to compete.
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@gmail.NETBSDcom minus bsd> on Friday June 22, 2001 @08:26PM (#131478) Journal
    ... will the EULA prevent posting benchmarks???

    Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.

  • For Redhat, the idea of building a database would be a bad for bussiness on their part. First off, they would piss off Oracle and IBM and we need their support to move linux to the enterprise. Second, Redhat finally made a profit and why develop something with no instant return? If enterprise users need something powerfull Oracle or DB2 would be there. right

    Not quite.
    I recall reading an interview lately with one of the big whigs at Oracle lately. In it, he welcomed this move from Redhat. According to him, it provides and allows for more and more DB users to progress to oracle without haveing used MS. Remember, oracle and MS aren't exactly taking warm showers together in the wee hours of the morning. I wouldn't be suprised to learn of Oracle helping out with the project.

    You are correct in that unless PSQL grows in capacity and performance, the sequence would lead users to Oracle. Also, though, as I recall, just ahout all (if not ALL) of the large commercial RDBMS Vendors prohibit the publication of benchmarks, not just Oracle. Last I knew Oracle and MS Both did this.

  • I need to be 100% clear on this. Is RedHat essentially repackaging some other group's code and selling it as their own with some token of financial support to the original coding team?

    Err, like Mandrake did with Redhat's distro, except without the financial support?

    I was under the impression (yesterday? 2 days ago?) that they would be starting a DB project from scratch. If what I'm saying is correct, why is this fucking steaming pile even being mentioned? All they are going to do is wrap a customized installer around someone else's hard work.

    Earth to troll... This is what you're *supposed* to do with open source. Think, you can do the same thing with any of Redhat's GPL code, go ahead. Just give us something more than hot air.

  • when they hear PostGres, the name translates to a big fat "huh?". But if you take that software, gussy it up, and slap the word RedHat on it, and you instantly change that to "oh, RedHat's database".

    Yep. And why not call it "Redhat SQL Server?".

  • Umm, there's nothing preventing them from selling it under the GPL.

    A company I work for may end up selling GPL server software at a decently high price. Companies will pay it. They're used to paying for software.

  • To agree with your point, Microsoft and Sybase split in 1993, long before MS-SQL was considered a very successful product. The original MS-SQL was for 16-bit OS/2, and both companies have sunk $millions into development in the 14 or so years since then.

    And the arrangement wasn't entirely benificial to just Microsoft. Sybase has made a good business 'upsizing' MS-SQL databases, which was probably their plan to begin with. It's unfortunate that the big RDBMS vendors were unable to produce a very compelling NT product in the years it took Microsoft to get to SQL 7.0.
  • Hear Hear.

    The branding point is really critical because, face it, PostgreSQL has really lousy name.

    In a largely agnostic development shop, it seemed as if everyone had at least heard of MySQL and had certainly heard of RedHat, but were stumbling over "Post-Gres .. Q L". These were technical people, engineers and project managers, so I can't imagine trying to sell a customer on this, even if it did save them $5K over MS-SQL.

    "RedHat Database" (or "RHDB") might not be the greatest name either, but it's better than what they've got. (No offense to the Ingres, Post, and SQL people... Maybe change the name back to "Ingres" - some people remember it and it's easy to say)
  • by rhavyn ( 12490 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @09:50PM (#131485)
    Just a note about the PHPBuilder.com article. Mysql has a problem with 30 concurrent users. This is a bit different than 30 users. 30 people can be connected at one time and mysql doesn't even sweat ... but when you get 30 concurrent queries, it starts to fall apart.

    For a pretty normal website, 30 concurrent connections can get you 500,000 - 1.5 million hits a day (depending on your traffic patterns ... if you get all your hits all within 6 hours think low end of the scale ... if it's pretty well spread out across the day, think high end of the scale). As most mysql users point out, mysql isn't meant to be used in super high load situations and this assessment backs that fact up.

    Now, I use mostly postgresql where I work (I need the transaction support and mysql didn't have it at the time). But I thought the current user point should be brought up.
  • Do you think this is fair.

    According to RMS, yes, and RMS is GOD.

  • Maybe for admin. But if you need a quick data entry form, or a quick report ("And please format it nicely, so it will look good. I'd like the company name to be bold, and a bit larger than the rest, and ..."), then a GUI tool is the only way to go.

    That's the kind of thing that let Access keep it's market share before they bundled it into MSOffice, and they still had to buy FoxPro.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I think that is mainly learning SQL. Did you leave off the smiley?

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I'm sure hoping they put a bit of work into a RAD interface. Just Glade, Python, and some decent report writer would be great. For a first stab at the report writer, even an HTML generator would work. Even just this would be a real competitor to MS Access.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • The data, not hard at all, it's the database scripts that are difficult, and if they didn't use anything proprietary, nothing's hard about that. It's a pain to convert PL/SQL scripts to other solutions, and there are certain incompatibilities between some products, but they probably have full time database staff. Gotta keep em busy right? You need them on hand, they might as well be working <G>
  • That said, Pl/SQL is pretty useful stuff, and some of the proprietary database extensions of certain packages can make life easier from certain points of view, that wasn't meant as an affront to any one or any product.
  • I rarely use MySQL (and use PostgreSQL every day) but I thought the MySQL documentation [mysql.com] was pretty good.
  • that they should have gone with the inferior product because some day it may do what PostgreSQL does today. OK, whatever...

  • No, now they'll say sorry, never heard of it. But we can install Red Hat Database if you want!

  • RedHat and Oracle are not even on speaking terms.
    Count the days down that RH 6.2 Enterprise stays on their website.
    SuSE 7.1 was the primary Linux porting platform.
    Anything from the 9.0 series will not be supported by Oracle Worldwide Support on RH Linux.

    It is apparently an ugly falling out. Too bad.
    But after the RH 7.0 release - I'd say that they get what they deserve.

    Use SuSE.
  • Too bad their documentation still sucks. At least Postgres has really good docs.
  • by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:10PM (#131497) Homepage
    All they are going to do is wrap a customized installer around someone else's hard work.

    Gee, like they do with the kernel, X, mozilla, samba, kde, and gnome? Like what every distro does? Why should this be any different?

    They're adding value to customers who want a DB with support. This is open source, they can do this, and I bet $20 that the Postgre team is happy to be part of the package, since this will expand their market and get more people interested in postgre ...

  • ????????

    WTF are you smoking. What part of "Red Hat is using PostgreSQL" Did you not understand? It's going to be the same fucking souce. Any changes Red Hat makes can go into the original, the same holds true for any source developed by Great Bridge.

    Wow people on /. are getting so fucking lame.
  • Except that they are not forking. Read the article.
  • The most advanced Free/OpenSource RDBMS is sapDB. Problem is that sapDB is GPL, and Great Bridge and Red Hat are planning to bring new features and keep it's source closed for a while. In this way they will make money. The plan is not to _fork_ the code but to release the new features _later_ to have a competitive advantage.

    First of all, Great Bridge and Red Hat will not be working together. Red Hat will be putting developers on Postgres, but the companies won't be working together. All explained in the article.

    Second, I don't see why Red Hat would keep changes for themselves, even for a short time. They're an opensource company, and to this day they have always released source immediately when their products are released. I don't see why that would change. Their patches might not be accepted by Postgres maintainers, but that's another issue that the future will tell. Even then, I'm confident RHDB will be available in source from day 0.

  • Go troll somewhere else.
  • RedHat wants a DB. RedHat likes the GPL. There are good, GPL'd DB's available.

    Where's the justification for reinventing the wheel?

    They are not reinventing the wheel, on the contrary. They are using PostgreSQL as the base, according to the article. They will be putting developers on hacking a version of PostgreSQL (with more features, I suppose) that they can bundle with support and their distribution. If they follow track, their sources will be available from day 0 and patches sent to the PostgreSQL maintainers.

  • Because both DB2 and Oracle are available on Linux, but perhaps you don't call them "decent"?
    The DB-support on Linux is pretty decent.
  • PostgreSQL is included in Red Hat Professional Server. PostgreSQL is included in the basic $30 version, and presumably in the $3(?) Cheapbytes version. What is different is the kind of support you have reason to expect at the other end of a phone line. For serious users who want someone interested in their problems at the other end of a phone line, this looks like a pretty sweet deal.
  • MySQL is not a "better" database. It is a different kind of database. The design goals of MySQL are very different. MySQL is simple, direct, and very fast, but slow readers and updates are a very bad mix. For anything involving slow readers, look at a master-slave setup with the slow readers connecting to the slave, not the master. Benchmarks are pretty well useless since the results depend on the kind of load, not how good the databases are. Personally, I like MySQL, but you do have to code differently for it ("better" (IMNSHO)). Probably if any of the SELECT statements are outside of your control, you want something where slow readers do NOT block updates.
  • Incidentally, RedHat retains the services of Alan Cox to work on the kernel. They also retain the services of dozens (hundreds?) of other Linux programmers to do work on various pieces of the distro and then release the results of that hard work under the GPL.

    They're adding value to customers who want a DB with support. This is open source, they can do this, and I bet $20 that the Postgre team is happy to be part of the package, since this will expand their market and get more people interested in postgre ...

    The article seems to support your conclusion:

    Bruce Momjian, a Great Bridge employee and one of the six core PostgreSQL developers, also was optimistic. Red Hat's help with the PostgreSQL effort would mean "they're going to put some major resources into PostgreSQL development," he said.
  • I doesn't have to since everybody elses does [forbids benchmarking] there will be nothing to compare it to!
  • Not a huge suprise here since the original angel investor from Landmark who funded Red Hat is also the angel investor who funded Great Bridge.

    In their own words. They're looking to do for databases what Red Hat did for Linux.

    Given all of that, is it really any surprise?
  • Personally, I mostly use MySQL for stuff. I'm a simpleton, and it's nice and simple.
    Once they're both installed, I can't think of any application where MySQL beats Postgres. If MySQL is simple enough to understand, Postgres is just as simple. Do yourself a favor - make the effort to move to Postgres, and reward yourself with true atomicity, real integrity constraints, and all sorts of other useful things. It's worth it.
    People will claim that MySQL is faster, but IMO, if my application is important enough that it requires speed, it's important enough to warrant Postgres.

  • I pronounce it post-greh-squeal since I believe that the best way to pronounce SQL is not sequel or ess-cue-ell, but squeal. Try it, you'll like it.
  • Yeah, having name recognition is crucial in the DB mindspace. But don't think that Oracle or DB2 will give up the Linux side, especially the latter. With Bill G still the richest man and Oracle's head honcho down to fourth, there's still vengeance to be wrecked upon MSFT.

    Guess I'll have to learn Postgres now ...

  • God, that's about as annoying as "ogg vorbis" to try to pronounce and just as difficult to sell to your PHB without having him stumble all over the name next time it comes up in conversation.

    Think I'm kidding? Microsoft didn't name everything "Word", "Office", "Publisher", etc by accident. Open source efforts more aimed at the enterprise really do need to rethink their naming strategies - your name is usually your most powerful marketing tool, so make it good.
  • How to pronounce it: http://postgresql.planetmirror.com/postgresql.wav [planetmirror.com]
    - and -
    Full background from the mid 80's to today: http://postgresql.planetmirror.com/users-lounge/do cs/7.1/admin/history.html [planetmirror.com]
  • >SQL Server is practically the defacto standard already in any mid-range or even department
    >database. MS is gutting them from the ground up. IT managers still have the all ms craze of 5
    >years ago and Oracle/sun or db2/as400 is pretty expensive and is used for large operations and is
    >slower in midrange use. This is why Oracle bans the use of benchmarks. Sql Server is serious
    >competition and is getting better. Sql ....

    I'm sorry, but that is not the reason why Oracle does not allow third parties to perform and
    publish benchmarks.

    It is true that SQL Server performs well at the low end, but your implication that Oracle is
    afraid of a comparison is wrong. Oracle *does* publish benchmarks, which can be directly compared
    again the same SQL Server benchmarks. This is the reason why the TPC exists.

    Oracle do not allow third parties to perform the benchmarks because they will not be fair, as the
    required setup to get the best out of an Oracle database is quite complex. Also, Oracle have some
    non-documented init.ora parameters which can be used to enhance the performance in the benchmark.

    I worked for Oracle for 6 years. If you feel you have some better inside knowledge then me and
    think that I am wrong, then state your reasons and your sources.
  • The current version of MySQL supports both atomic operations and transactions - transaction support depends on your table storage format... Please read the documentation (there are several sections on it...)

    If MySQL AB reads the user comments in the manual, I'm betting that they will be implementing view and foreign key support soon.

    As for a full SQL92 implementation, I think the only major issue remaining is nested SELECTs, right?
  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:30PM (#131516)
    RedHat wants a DB. RedHat likes the GPL. There are good, GPL'd DB's available.

    Where's the justification for reinventing the wheel?

  • oh, i could tell you stories. if you're working at a company as a sql programmer or dba, 9 times out of 10 you can run something like this
    "update employee set salary=salary*1.5 where id=yours" without anyone ever even knowing.
  • by Sokie ( 60732 )
    Does this mean more than 4 hosting companies worldwide will not say "PostgreSQ-WHAT?" when I ask them about database options?

  • Good enough for me! :)

  • I think the name 'Red Hat' is much more marketable and attractive than PosgreSQL. I too, seriously doubt that RH is thinking of forking the code.
  • by Louis Savain ( 65843 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @07:12PM (#131522) Homepage
    PostgreSQL is PostgreSQL. If they don't intend to fork PostgreSQL, then why give it it's own name (Red Hat Database)? I'm not sure I understand the incentive here.

    In the business world, what counts is service, support and reliability. RH is not selling software. They are selling service and expertise. PostgreSQL is a reliable but complex piece of software that requires knowledgeable people to support. That's where RH comes in. I am sure they have hired competent people who can help small to medium size businesses set up and operate their databases. Good move on RH part IMO.
  • by Baki ( 72515 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @10:16PM (#131523)
    In some time the only relevant database access standard will be JDBC. Well, maybe it depends on your perspective, but where I work (the large Swiss banks, which are also the largest banks in the world and develop huge amounts of software to last for decennia) the only remaining programming language of importance is Java (and PL/1 on the mainframe.

    ODBC, ADO, Oledb being de facto standards?!? Not in this world, they don't play even a tiny role. Only some client-side tools use ODBC via a JDBC-ODBC bridge, but such tools are highly discouraged (we rather generate CSV output from websites to push data into Excel, and don't want nor need ODBC. Writing back from a shaky product like Excel into a database of any importance is not allowed anyway). The only things that count are DB2 on the mainframe (with Corba interfaces) and JDBC databases on the rest (some DBI too for Perl). Since SQL Server doesn't provide good JDBC support (and 3rd party JDBC drivers for SQL Server are extremely expensive) it doesn't have a chance. Some smaller projects used SQL Server, but because of difficult integration they must be replaced everywhere (with Oracle, but Postgresql could also be an option).

  • Sorry Redhat but most IT manangers would choose MS in such a situation.

    Right now, I doubt very much that Red Hat is aiming for or expects to get "most" IT managers buying their products. What thay _are_ aiming for is to get _more_ IT managers buying their products.

    That is something which this development probably will do. I have very little doubt that RH will develop nice happy GUI interfaces etc for configuring RHDB, and that combined with Postgres not being crap, will result in more people using it.

  • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @09:33PM (#131526)
    So why PostgreSQL?
    Red Hat needed to choose one that existed. Building from scratch, no matter how you look at it, would provide little return on investment.

    They had a relationship established, with a group of developers very familiar with the product. Is it the best choice for everything, of course not. Hence the reason we have DB2/2, Oracle, MySQL...

    What does Red Hat get out of it?
    They have a core group of developers in place today. Zero cost of a learning curve for them and minimal for the developers they add. In addition, they get PR. Red Hat is a public company that is making money. The PR only helps.

    What does the Open Source community get?
    More dollars invested by someone who can work at it full time. In addition, we do not loose access to other DB choices. The development of MySQL, Oracle, sapDB, etc. will go on regardless of the announcement, either way. This will merely allow focus on this product for the reasons stated above.

    To read this as a your SQL's better than mine, degrades quickly back to the NT vs. Linux sport that shows up in some newsgroup about a billion times a day. Many database options are good. Many are good at some things the others are not. I try to equate these choices like cars, we all want to drive different things for different reasons.
  • I don't see how anyone could have thought that they were going to start something from scratch. As for their choice of what to package, I believe it's excellent for all those involved, including those who will never use the redhad database system. Redhat will have more of a financial interest in postgresql, creating an environment where redhat will encourage the development of the product through widespread exposure and of course financial support as well as tech support for customers. Those who don't use the Red hat database system will still benefit from an improved and more thoroughly tested postgresql with a new infusion of money/developer power/user base.
  • by rjkimble ( 97437 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @08:46PM (#131529) Homepage Journal

    My experience is that Watcom SQL/Sybase SQL Anywhere/Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere/whatever they're calling it today is the most ANSI compliant database. After all, didn't PostgreSQL just get outer joins in 7.1?

    Nonetheless, we're using PostgreSQL for our current effort because of the price and the quality. It also has an amazing collection of built-in functions, and its flexibility for implementing triggers/rules is superb, if a bit obscure on occasion.

    All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!!

  • For even more fun, take a look at the SAPDB sourcecode...
  • by teg ( 97890 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:57PM (#131531) Homepage

    RedHat wants a DB. RedHat likes the GPL. There are good, GPL'd DB's available.

    PostgreSQL isn't GPL, it has a BSDish license.

  • You're right. And those of us who played with, and were burned by, the immature Postgres have a permanently bad impression of it. I tried Postgres before MySQL because the license was more free. (A few years back). I found it slow and buggy. I also found that nearly everyone was using MySQL in the real world, so I got over the license and started using it. And loved it - it's a polished and really functional product, within its admittedly limited domain.
    I played with Postgres again recently, and realized that because it (proudly) supports transactions and integrity constraints, I expect it to support a reasonable subset of SQL92. And yet, no subselects. And other annoying omissions I've forgotten.
    Anyhow, what I want is a free Oracle-like database. I'm not sure how to even measure when Postgres gets there (although subselects are a necessity!) given the difficulty of benchmarking databases. Some say adabas is comparable to (pre 8i) Oracle. If so, I hope it catches on. To use it now would be to walk out on a very thin limb - I like the fact that all my Oracle and MySQL questions have been asked and answered on usenet.
  • Methinks it will be their downfall.
    People always predict MS's downfall. ESR said,
    "Windows 2000 will be either cancelled or dead on arrival. Either way it will turn into a horrendous train wreck, the worst strategic disaster in Microsoft's history."
    And the press made much of IT managers' reluctance to upgrade to Win2k. But this is like prisoners going on a hunger strike - sooner or later they must eat. And they only have one choice of what to eat.
    So in the next generation of OS, Microsoft will do what best furthers their strategic interests. They have no need to balance this against market requirements, because realistically their customers have no choice. They will grumble about the loss of control over their data, etc, and pay through the nose for the same.
    Free things will nibble the edges of the market while MS dominates the center.
  • You're right - I just tried a subselect and Postgres executed it happily. It was something else, something quite standard, that I was thinking of: I tried $thing and Postgres knew exactly what I meant, because it said "$thing not implemented". And for some reason I thought $thing == subselects.
    So I tried strings `which postgres` | grep -i implement and I think it was ORDER BY and DISTINCT on views are not implemented which seemed such an arbitrary limitation. Admittedly a lot less important than subselects.
  • stepwise.com [stepwise.com] for osx related things (& osx server and openstep and ...). See the softrak section [stepwise.com] for osx databases [stepwise.com] (mysql an Pg both). nb: the osx server and osx sections are different; and I don't use either so ?? on the cross compatibility front.

    News for geeks in Austin: www.geekaustin.org [geekaustin.org]
  • One major things that Redhat and other distros do to add value is maintain a list of security updates, even for relatively old systems. Got a server that's been up for 2 years... it ain't running RedHat 7.x, or even 6.2 if it's been up that long!

    This page is a prime example [redhat.com] of the immense value they add. Sure, an admin out to keep on top of security mail lists and such, but how many of these programs even bother to keep security notices going back for 2.5 years? A list like (together with rpm -q) is extreemly valuable for doing a quick check to make sure you didn't miss obvious security holes.

  • >I played with Postgres again recently, and
    >realized that because it (proudly) supports
    >transactions and integrity constraints, I expect
    >it to support a reasonable subset of SQL92. And
    >yet, no subselects. And other annoying omissions
    >I've forgotten.

    Maybe what you forgot to do is actually look at the feature list and/or try using the features you think are missing. Postgresql supported sub-selects even in the 6.X series.

  • * The threading vs. processes was indeed my bad.
    Since I have no idea why I said one when I
    meant the other. :)

    * No, those numbers are meaningless unless more
    background is given. What backend are they
    using? What proportion of selects to inserts?
    Are they simple or complex queries? How big
    are the tables? What operating system and
    hardware platform are they running on?

    The "numbers speak for themselves" arguments
    rank only below the "we lack all these features,
    but you shouldn't use them anyways, and besides,
    we're planning them in the next few major
    release" arguments in sullying the reputation
    of MySQL in a lot of people's eyes.

    * Unless your website is publishing false
    information, you're wrong about locking on
    MyISAM tables. I quote, "Currently MySQL only
    supports table locking for ISAM/MyISAM and HEAP
    tables and page level locking for BDB tables."

    * MVCC has been part of Postgresql since June
    1999; InnoDB was originally interfaced with
    MySQL September 2000 and made part of the
    mainstream distribution March 2001.

    Likewise, MVCC is the locking backend for EVERY
    Postgres installation, whereas InnoDB likely
    constitutes a small portion of MySQL installs.

    Guess which one has proven itself in production

    * Again with the "usually". Your statement is
    meaningless and only serves to discredit your
    repute if you don't give at least some context.

    Yes, MySQL *can* be up to 100 times faster; it
    can also curl up in a little ball and cry like
    a little girl under loads that Postgres and
    other more featureful databases would handle

    No, not every database is suited for every
    application, but as I pointed out in my
    original comment, there are very few instances
    I can see where MySQL makes a better choice.

    The lack of a robust implementation of ANSI
    SQL make anything but trivial database schema
    painful to implement and typically requires
    reimplementing the missing features in each and
    every piece of client code. Though the latest
    release of MySQL adds many missing features,
    most of them are in table backends that are
    not widely adopted and thus lack rigorous
    testing (and I'm not talking about a simple
    regression test).

    The main complain is the lack of fine-grained
    locking, which makes most common usage patterns
    (save data warehousing, which someone was kind
    enough to reminds me of) perform worse as
    access grows. This very real limit on practical
    scalability makes theoretical performance edge
    nigh meaningless in many situations.

    * If you'll re-read my comments on the benchmark
    on the InnoDB site, the complaint about the
    Postgres test was not that it was missing
    instructions for recreating the results, but
    that the ONLY comparison was on select speed,
    single client.

    However, my issue with the test against a
    "market-leading database" was in fact a matter
    of them using different methedology for testing
    each database, and only publishing the perl
    code for the InnoDB test:

    "Source code of tests for InnoDB is included
    at the end of this email. Note that the tests
    were not run in exactly the same way for the
    other database."

    * Regardless of whether its hard to write
    benchmarks that cover concurrent access or not,
    it doesn't change the fact that what is
    currently published on the MySQL website is
    nothing more than marketing material. To recap
    a previous analogy, its like choosing a sports
    car over a pick-up truck for hauling on the
    basis that the sports car goes REALLY fast
    when carrying a single two by four.

    * I've read innumerable comparisons between
    Postgres and MySQL. Not to mention having a
    fair amount of experience with both in a
    production environment.

    It was, in fact, my research and the limitations
    and poor performance I have experienced with
    MySQL in a large-scale deployment that have
    formed my opinions on the matter.

    Given that one of my "simple faults" was a slip
    of the tongue and another is backed up by
    published material on your own website,
    coupled with your failure to adequately
    address my "opinions", you might want to
    reconsider the condescending tone you chose
    to take in the first paragraph of your
  • You could always do ORDER BY and DISTINCT *on* a view, just not as part of one.

    That limitation is removed in the 7.1 release.

  • by Wdomburg ( 141264 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:53PM (#131554)
    If you take a close look at the benchmarking on the InnoDB site, you'll notice their comparison against Postgresql is only measuring speeds with a since query running against the database. Likewise for their MyISAM vs. InnoDB test, and their MySQL vs "market-leading database test".

    So all of these suffer from the same thing that the default MySQL benchmarks do - they're meaningless save for marketing. There are very few real world applications that are going to have serialized queries, and those that do are likely not going to require a lot of raw speed.

    If you'll notice, the only test that they use multiple connections with is their scalability test, in which they make no comparison to other databases, and that showed performance dropping sharply on selects after 50 clients, and didn't even bother giving performance on more than 20 for inserts (I'd be interested in knowing whether they were just embarassing or if the server actually crashed).

    And none of the tests include a mixed load of selects and inserts. And they flat out admit their methodology was different for MySQL and the contender in one test. And they ran all of it on a single server. And none of the tests include large tables, joins, transactions, sub-selects, etc, etc. The number of faults with their benchmarks are innumerable.

    Part of the beauty of the newer releases of Postgresql (aside from the improvements to the query optimizer) is their new "no-locking" MVCC (Multi Version Concurrency Control) system. Selects NEVER block inserts and vice versa.

    This is a _huge_ win in terms of performance in real world situations; coupled with the row (or even cell level) locking pretty much guarante better scalability than MySQL, even if running a table type that supports finer grain locking (I believe the best they do right now is page level).

    I like to think of MySQL as a sports car. It'll get to zero to sixty faster than an 18-wheel truck. But if you try to put any load on it, it won't even more.

    (Note - the company I work for uses MySQL for a large production database. And it has worked even for a fairly large database under a somewhat heavy load. However, it is performing adequately, not well. And there are a lot of things we simply CANNOT do (e.g. a large query against the database for statistics purposes, since the select would lock all inserts and deadlock the database. Even under normal load its not uncommon for us to see 20-30 selects locked waiting for an insert to complete).

    And to be honest, even if MySQL performed half as well as their documentation implied, I find the lack of features like sub selects, select into table, transactions (under the heavily tested table types), stored procedures, triggers, foreign keys and views make it a waste of my time and a waste of the programmers time.

    We have dozens of programs and scripts that all have to access the database and they all have to work around the deficiencies in MySQLs capabilities. And, to be honest, not every attempt to do so is ultimately successful, resulting in hours wasted doing cleanup work (when it actually CAN be done without killing the database.).

    I don't begrudge other people their preferences, but it would take a LOT of improvement and real benchmarks to convince me MySQL is a better database.

  • But - MySql has been plagued by the fact that they never implemented foreign key support into their DBMS.

    Well, they know this as well. Please note the 1st item on the todo list [mysql.com] for version 4.0.
  • Great Bridge and Red Hat are planning to bring new features and keep it's source closed for a while.

    I do believe you need to back this statement up with some facts, if you've got them. If this is purely opinion, then please state what previous action RedHat has taken to lead you to this opinion.
  • Do yourself a favor - make the effort to move to Postgres

    I probably would have already except for one factor. After a number of horridly failed attempts I've found a web hosting company that is both rock solid and with a fair price. The down side is that they don't do anything with Postgres as of yet. If it was offered up, I'd most likely jump on it.

    As it is, MySQL has been doing a great job for me on a couple of different sites that I've put together. I've not had any corrupted data, downtime, or slow server response due to the database. One of the sites I've put together actually gets hit with a pretty fair amount of traffic, on a shared server even, and things hold up pretty darn well.

    I may do some playing around with Postgres here on my local FreeBSD box before too long. Thing is, at this point I don't have a web host I really trust that I can publish that work to. The down side of finding a good thing in a hosting vendor is not wanting to jump around feature hunting.
  • by Metrol ( 147060 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:41PM (#131559) Homepage
    Doubtful there will be any immediate benefit beyond simply coupling Postgres with RedHat, other than the RPM integration you mentioned. In the long run though, consider how Microsoft has put SQL Server to work for them. Pretty much every product they label "Enterprise" somehow integrates in with their database server.

    As RedHat goes struggling for the "Enterprise" market, having a known database running under the hood is going to become more and more critical. Anything they can do to simplify the process of getting that database up and running quickly is also a major selling point over other solutions.

    Personally, I mostly use MySQL for stuff. I'm a simpleton, and it's nice and simple. For what RedHat is looking to do I doubt there's a better choice out there than Postgres. That, and if Postgres gets a nice influx of new dedicated developers this should be great news for both RedHat and Postgres users.
  • by Metrol ( 147060 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:46PM (#131560) Homepage
    Gee, like they do with the kernel, X, mozilla, samba, kde, and gnome?

    I know you're not attacking RedHat here, but I felt I should note that they do a bit more than just wrap stuff together. They've got a lot of folks doing development work on a number of those items mentioned.

    I don't personally use RedHat here, but I do have a great deal of respect for them as a company. From what I've seen, they appear to be very straight shooters that have managed to not only lead the Linux market, but also maintain a great deal of repectability while doing so.
  • Will this become part of Red Hat Professional Server? I've heard a lot of good things about PostgreSQL and am very happy that Red Hat is going to start working with it! I use RHPS on a daily basis and will buy the next version even more quickly if Red Hat DB/Red Hat PostgreSQL will be included.

    Very sweet news!!!
  • Remaining SQL92 issues: subselects in SELECT, subselects in FROM (also called projections), subselects in WHERE. Each can be thought of as a seperate implementation issue. Views. Updateable views. Foreign keys. Constraints, in particular referential integrity constriants. Required transactions - this is part of every SQL standard, it's a base assumption. SELECT INTO table. Temp tables. Domains. Stored procedures and triggers aren't standardized, but every major DB has them, and they're demanded out in the real world -- add them to the list.

    After adding all the above, MySQL will need some serious (read: light-years of) development on their query analyzer. MySQL does well on simple selects but performs notably slow on complex queries. Which is hardly a surprise given their assumptions, design goals, and evangelism.

    InnoDB needs more testing, and it needs to continue to grow. I have full faith in Heikki Turri's skill.

    I cannot say the same for the other MySQL AB developers. They have spent the last few years stonewalling efforts to turn MySQL into a real DB. They proclaimed that transactions were bad, table locks were as fine grained as you ever needed, constraints should be handled by the client application, and that stored procedures existed because other vendors couldn't write fast SQL parsers (thus showing a failure to understand the difference between declarative and procedural programming). Now, demands from their larger customers, plus products from people like Heikki, appear to be forcing MySQL AB forwards towards ACID compliance. So, no, I do not trust MySQL AB to implement these things quickly and effectively.

    If you read their TODOs, you can see most of this stuff in targeted for 4.1. That's 2 major revs away. What will Postgres be doing in that time?

    BTW, your web server is serving 403s. You should probably check on that.

  • The PostgreSQL Group has an mp3 and a wav on their site, has for quite a while now:

    postgresql.mp3 [wavefire.com].

  • How much more documentation do you need? MySQL is very well documented and also has a lot more third-party documentation than PG.


  • I find this to be remarkably similar to what Microsoft did with Sybase and SQL Server. Eventually, you're likely to see RH with literally their own product such that it's unrecognizable as being postgres.

    But then there's a huge difference. When M$ supplied Sybase with the kiss of death (nearly so) you as a customer had exactly two choices, provided you wanted to stick with the Sybase engine:

    Buy Micr$oft SQLServer for a lot of money

    Purchase Sybase SQLServer (Adaptive Server Enterprise as of today) for a helluva lot of money

    Both database engines where quite comparable and both where propriatery.

    This is the beauty of the Open Source model:

    While Red Hat can fork it of course, or theoretically could even make a propriatery, binary version only, this is very unlikely to happen. And even if it would, it would probably be a failure and allienate a hell of a lot of key people.

    If Red Hat however develops cool features, those are very likely to wind up in the code if the Postgresql user community also deems them cool.

    I think this announcement is a very good thing and will benefit all: Postgresql development, Red Hat software and the rest of us in need for an industrial strength, kick ass database engine.

  • I dunno, it's hard to feel pathetic when your RDBMS knowledge boosts your salary by a few $10k per year.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @09:09PM (#131581) Journal
    Everyone here is seems to be under the impression that redhat isn't going to do anything but repackage postgres. I don't believe its true. Postgres already comes wiht redhat doesn't it?

    I believe they are going to rewrite large portions of it and optimize it and probably even move some functions to a kernel level dameon just like tux. SQL server is killing the mid-level database level and its microsofts pawn to stela marketshare. Database is almost a requirement for any real bussiness app server. SQl server is taking the roll and including all proprietary tools like oldedb, ado, odbc, and a whole bunch of vb tools to take away any competion in the mid ranger server market.

    We need a quick solution thats scalable fast, and cheaper. many of redhat's r&d helped make kernel 2.4 as fast as it is today. They will do the same wiht postgres. In 2 to 4 years it may be quite powerfull and competitive to SQL server today. I doubt it will approach Oracle though. If Tux is an indication of what redhat plans to do, then we will have one hell of a great database. My guess is it will be a different database then it is today in 4 years. Microsoft is going to strangle the market if we don't get our act together soon.

    For the trolls who say post is postgres is postgres, is like saying linux is linux is linux. Version 1.2 of the kernel really sucked compare to what is capable in the 2.4 release. At the time 1.2 kernel users thought it was good enough and were convinced its great. Today we know its laughable. But I expect such similiar changes with postgres if RedHat is in charge of accerlating it.

  • For Redhat, the idea of building a database would be a bad for bussiness on their part. First off, they would piss off Oracle and IBM and we need their support to move linux to the enterprise. Second, Redhat finally made a profit and why develop something with no instant return? If enterprise users need something powerfull Oracle or DB2 would be there. right?

    But after reading the CNET article and figuring out what market they want to go after it makes pefect sense. Microsoft's strategy is to scare IT managers buy showing a product get better and better to make them think its going to gut competion from the bottom up. Remember Scalablity day 5 years ago? Ms demonstrated transaction server handling a million hits a day with transaction server/wolfpack on NT4 on a dual pentiumpro 200. IT managers noticed it ran well in low end hardware and they thought "wow, if NT can do this on pc hardware, think about what it can do with higher end hardware! In 5 years unix will be dead!". It worked! Overnight NT4 became a best seller and many doubted that unix would ever survive. Today its laughable but the marketing worked and they are using a similiar strategy with SQL server.

    SQL Server is practically the defacto standard already in any mid-range or even department database. MS is gutting them from the ground up. IT managers still have the all ms craze of 5 years ago and Oracle/sun or db2/as400 is pretty expensive and is used for large operations and is slower in midrange use. This is why Oracle bans the use of benchmarks. Sql Server is serious competition and is getting better. Sql server is supprising stable where I work and it went down only once in 3 years!

    IT managers who buy redhat use it for a quick webserver installation or cheap department server. SQL server is cheaper to buy and implement for a bussiness database and it has support for odbc, ADO, oledb which are all becoming the defacto standards. Postgres as it is today has some limited odbc support, is not scalable, hard to set it up to handle a real load. I have no idea how Rob Malda even managed to run his site with only Mysql. Contrary to poular believe here on slashdot postgres, and mySQL are great for development but suck in real bussiness situations with hundreds of users. PHPbuilder.com did a benchmark and showed mysql having trouble with intense SQL calls with only 30 users. Since database access is essential for any web/intranet, messaging, or client/server app we need to have an alternative with great odbc, ado, oledb support as well as JDBC.

    The problem with SQL Server is it doesn't support JDBC (wonder why) without an expensive third party extension. Servelts are pretty standard for retreiving data on intranet/internet servers. So if you have java servlets running on an intranet server you need a real database but only expensive oracle/sun or db2/as400 is available for real bussiness use( I assume 500-1000 users)?

    Microsoft's answer is c#.net or VB.net applets running on SQL.NET wich is cheaper and fully integrated. You can also save development time by writing the apps in Visual basic and that alone could save for the cost of the servers. Sorry Redhat but most IT manangers would choose MS in such a situation.

    With a real midrange database there can be a more economical solution thats more fault tollerant (if connection to the web dies, the server goes down in .NEt/hailstorm :-) ), cheaper, and hopefully more powerfull. I assume redhat will come out with its own threading scheme and might put some limited functions in the kernel like what they did with TUX. SQL server is faster because its in the kernel and its supprising stable because they made sure to only put the indexing routines in the kernel and not memory managment in SQL server. We need real competition before ms guts Oracle from the bottom up.

    IF redhat can accelerate postgres, and make it scale to many processors, support oledb, odbc and .ocx for easy development for all the VB zombies, then I will be happy.

  • If I had any mod points right now I'd give them to wrinkledshirt. This is such an excellent point- red hat is a bridge for lots of people to get into linux, and they've done a good job not pissing anyone off too badly so far. Plus they are profitable.

    So long as they don't abuse their brand by doing evil things, I say go red hat, build a brand so powerful that even the emperor himself will be forced to deal with us...


    if you'd just lead them to true freedom, they'd follow you, and so would I,


    bring balance to the force,


    I can't believe I'm not posting this anonymously

    -one os to run them all, and in the darkness bind them...
  • I think you're mistaking supported [sun.com] drivers for included drivers. However, freetds_jdbc [freetds.org] is good enough for use with BRL [sourceforge.net], even though a lot of advanced JDBC features are lacking. It's in production use where I work.
  • http://lwn.net/daily/rh-database.php3
  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @08:49PM (#131593)
    In order to go mainstream in the enterprise market, your software really has to have name recognition. Look at the mystique the name "RedHat" has now. The IT brass at my company didn't even realize there were other distributions until I told them RedHat was just one! (There's more than one Linux? Free? Errr!?)

    To these kinds of people (which are unfortunately the people often writing the checks), when they hear PostGres, the name translates to a big fat "huh?". But if you take that software, gussy it up, and slap the word RedHat on it, and you instantly change that to "oh, RedHat's database".

    I think its silly that such means must be gone to, but if this gets more opensource out into the enterprise world, then I'm all for it. Once people adopt the platform and the bumbling populace is more 'edumacated' about the Linux world, people will wake up and say "hey, I can just use PostGres!".

    Damn the rusty wheels of corporate progress.

  • One word: "Branding"

    Yes sir, we folks at Red Hat, known for the Red Hat Linux Distribution, RHCEs and enterprise-level solutions, are now packing with every forthcoming Red Hat distribution a Red Hat configured database solution for low- to middle-tier database needs. The RHDB will be specially customized for Red Hat systems, which are put out by Red Hat, the most prominent Linux distribution on the market today.

    You laugh, because it seems obvious here, but I remember taking a look over at a Microsoft story on MSNBC, and found no less than 75 instances of Microsoft branding, using "Microsoft" or "MS" or "Windows". And this was for one story, on one web page.

    Any new avenue that Red Hat can use to drop its own name is an opportunity to solidify mindshare. Entering the database arena with a core product that won't embarass them is a no-brainer. They've even got GTK+ experts in-house that can make the thing look pretty.

    This could be a SERIOUS hit to MS Access and SQL server. And with Postgresql functionality built straight into php, the whole MS-IIS-ACCESS/SQLS-ASP combination can be easily matched in terms of quality, performance and reliability by Linux-Apache-RedhatDB-PHP combination, totally surpassed in terms of cost, and only lagging behind a little bit in the gui department. From a marketing standpoint, it makes the solution LOOK more cohesive (even if it isn't), and that's always been the selling point of going with an MS solution -- smart move by RedHat. And with the GPL on their hands, we can trust them not to be sluggish and proprietary in terms of responding to the community's needs -- good move for us.

  • by iomud ( 241310 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @11:02PM (#131598) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, why not use sapdb? We know it's pretty robust, perhaps too much so? It seems like too good a product to just let it sit unused.
  • Linux is Linux. Why give it it's own name (Red Hat Linux)? I don't understand it completely myself, especially since they are selling something they already include in the box.

    It probably has to due with branding and product recongition. If they sell it and make an effort to offer support for it, it has to have their name. As for why not Red Hat PostgreSQL, I think their marketing team probably just didn't think of it. It sounds awful, but I doubt that would stop a marketing team.

  • by roguerez ( 319598 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:42PM (#131608) Homepage
    Bwahahaha. You must be kiddin' me. Once upon a time MySql was better - but only in terms of performance. But - MySql has been plagued by the fact that they never implemented foreign key support into their DBMS. The MySql documentation speaks of foreign keys as if they are a bad thing. Which is of course a joke because everybody who has studied DBMS's seriously, knows that foreign keys are an integral part the relational database model as it exists.

    Now, I ask you, why would the MySql designers occupy such a religious statement?

    Is it because they would never be able to implement foreign key support afterwards into a static design, where you just could not possibly fit it in without a rewrite of the core DBMS logic?

    Mysql is mostly a way of storing your data in some kind of simple hashed form, accessible with SQL queries. That's why mysql is so fast with queries.

    But I think this was never the meaning of the relation model. I can store my data in my own hashed format, and my queries would be just as fast, or faster. Mysql is just a packaged piece of software representing this simple kind of storage, which answer to only the most simplest of SQL queries.

    Take postgresql on the other hand: foreign key support, transaction roll-back support, ability to plug-in your favourite query language (be it based on tuple or domain calculus or relational algebra like sql), etc etc etc. With the added bonus that PostgreSQL *smokes* mysql on every available benchmark that you can find, it's clear which is the better option.
  • Who is more pathetic....the fool who talks about databases, or the fool who talks about talking about databases? (or the fool who talks about talking about talking about databases)?
  • After reading the story and other information in the past concerning this development, I don't understand what redhat is exactly trying to do here. Will redhat package the db on its on and sell the packaging + support? (like it does with linux) Why do this? Why not just increase distribution of PostgreSQL (i.e.: a download page on its site and add a couple of marketing dudes), add pay-for-support and put some caffeine drinking pizza eating coders on PostgreSQL? Seems as though RH is taking this too far. If they are going all the way, perhaps RH should use some stock to buy out one of the above mentioned PostgreSQL distros.
  • Microsoft's answer is c#.net or VB.net applets running on SQL.NET wich is cheaper and fully integrated. You can also save development time by writing the apps in Visual basic and that alone could save for the cost of the servers. Sorry Redhat but most IT manangers would choose MS in such a situation.

    You are probably right that "most IT managers" are mightily impressed by database benchmarks and by VB. That doesn't make either SQL server or VB a good choice. If Linux had been developed according to what most IT managers prefer, it wouldn't even exist today because Microsoft and IBM do that sort of thing so much better.

  • by ramb0z0 ( 456402 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:16PM (#131617) Homepage
    I am very happy to hear this. I write a database agnostic product and PostgreSQL is the only one that is consistantly ANSI compliant.
  • MySQL is nice, for 'pet' database type things, or a small to mid-range non-OLTP type system, but there no freaking way that its an enterprise quality database. It just ain't there. I know that there are people out there who would claim otherwise, but I'd say they didn't know what they were talking about.

    Red Hat probably wants to occupy the space that someone like Filemaker or maybe Foxpro would have previously occupied. Considering that Oracle and IBM have Linux implementations, that class of database stuff is already covered.

    Postgres is usually included in most distros, but if Red Hat can manage to dress it up, perhaps slap a GUI on it, then they'll be cooking with gas, and definitely in a position to fool around with small, light load utility typw databases for non-mission critical and no heavy transactions (like Filemaker or Foxpro or even that abomination known as Access...)

  • I find this to be remarkably similar to what Microsoft did with Sybase and SQL Server. Eventually, you're likely to see RH with literally their own product such that it's unrecognizable as being postgres.
  • There is no flamebait there. That's what happened. Read the history of how SQL Server came to be. It's not an indictment of microsoft at all. The fact is that Microsoft and Sybase had different visions for the products and over years of trying to work together, they decided to go their seperate ways. Microsoft wanted features that could best be obtained through a single OS optimized product and Sybase wanted cross-platform compatibility to be a primary feature.

    All I ask is that you look at what was said before labelling something as flamebait. You'll see that I said nothing even remotely critical of any company. I would recommend anyone curious doing a little research on the history behind SQL Server. It's quite interesting and merely shows two companies can have very different ideas of product direction without one of them being wrong. It's all a matter of focus and priorities.

  • by tgl ( 462237 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @09:10PM (#131629)
    I'd like if someone could help clarify what is exactly happenning though. Great Bridge employs half the Postgres developers.
    Half the core committee, please, not half of the whole community. (BTW, I'm one of the half, so take my comments accordingly.)
    They claim to have a "commercially QA-tested" version of Postgres -- what exactly is this?
    What it says. Great Bridge tries to make sure that releases it packages are solid. Some Postgres releases are, um, not so solid, despite the best efforts of the community. GB adds another layer of testing and double-checking.
    Does anyone have any more information either on what Great Bridge's or Red Hat's versions of PosgreSQL have over the normal releases?
    I can't speak for RedHat, but Great Bridge's policy is to ship recognized Postgres releases. GB offers a nifty graphical installer (also open source, but it's not in the standard Postgres distribution), and the CD carries a number of related tools, but there's nothing there you couldn't get off the net. What GB adds is knowing what you want and which releases you want of it.
    Based on RedHat's past track record, I expect that they're going to do largely the same sort of things with Postgres as GB is doing: ship releases they believe are good, along with selected tools that complement it. This will be competition for Great Bridge, no doubt about it. But I'm not in fear of being on the street soon. As database specialists, GB should be able to continue to win customers over RedHat's generalism. Besides, RedHat choosing Postgres increases the credibility of the project all round, and should increase the size of the customer pool that we will all be splashing in. I'm optimistic that it's a win-win situation.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser