Re: "Perl is the duct tape of the Internet" and other musings

David Crook (
Thu, 09 Jul 1998 17:09:58 -0700

At 04:29 PM 7/9/98 -0700, Gordon Irlam wrote:
>PostgreSQL is a serious database, with a lot of cool features.
>Unfortunately it isn't sufficiently reliable for a real database.
>It seems to crash once every 2-3 months. Also various features
>are missing. Eg. there might be a date type, but they forgot to
>provide the min operator for dates, or there is no way to check
>if a date lies in a particular date range type. It also doesn't
>allow you to specify constraints on data fields, and either doesn't
>have, or recommends avoiding because they are unreliable, trigger
>conditions that cause a statement to execute when a particular
>event occurs.

I've worked on an intranet project that was based on PostGres. My feelings
on it are similar. Its got a lot of features for a freeware package. It
even has some facilities for storing objects, but they seemed to be nowhere
near finished. I guess they were provided for people that really wanted to
roll their own OODBS. The downside to Postgres was it was just too
unstable. The actual instructions ask the installer to set up a cron
script to shut the database down once a day, restart it and run a "vacuum"
script that does garbage collection for the database. Uh, that just
doesn't sound all that stable to me thank you very much.

>mySQL? I assume this is a new name for mSQL. All I remeber is
>it isn't free, and while fairly good for use with Perl, doesn't
>approach the serious database status of PostgreSQL.

mSQL and mySQL are two seperate database systems. mSQL is the original
package, its a stable and fast shareware RDBS, but it has a VERY limited
implementation of SQL, no outside joins, no date datatype. If you can live
with the limitations its okay. The license for it is $300. mySQL is a
freeware clone of mSQL. Ironically the freeware system is just as fast and
stable and has lots more features, including outside joins and date
datatypes. It seems to have about the same features of postgres but
without the instability.


David Crook -
CommWerks - Industrial Strength Internet Solutions