Looking for a database

Paul Smith phhs80 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 10:56:18 UTC 2006


On 1/30/06, Uno Engborg <uno at webworks.se> wrote:
> >> Could someone please recommend a nice and well documented database
> >> program for a person who has never used a database?
> >
> > That's not much to go on when asking for a recommendation.
> > The obvious choices on fedora will be MySQL and postgresql
> > and between those, postgresql follows the sql standards
> > more closely and has a less restrictive license.  Mysql
> > might be slightly faster if your usage is mostly read-only.
> >
> MySQL being faster is than postgresql is mostly a myth. It may be true
> if you have very simple queries or very few connected users. In general
> Postgresql is significantly faster.
>
> The MySQL is faster myth, goes back to the MySQL 3 days when that
> actually was the  case,
> mostly because MySQL back then didn't support transactions, or
> referential integrety
> checks while Postgresql did. (MySQL still doesn't fully support
> referential integrety).
>
> As an example, I created a table containg absolute paths to filenames in my
> filesystem, the file size and the md5 sum of the file. I then made a query
> to group the files by the md5 sum, and ordering these groups by file size.
> On my filesystem that took 12 minutes in postgresql 8.1, and over 16 hours
> using mysql 5.
>
> To make it worse, MySQL doesn't have the richness in SQL that postgresql
> offers. This often makes queries to MySQL more clumsy. E.g. try do a
> relational
> division without using "exept".
>
> Another factor in the choice between MySQL or Postgresql is the fact
> that Oracle have bought the innodb
> storage engine that is the main the one you need to use if you want to
> come even close to the feature set of
> postgresql does. In my mind, this creates some uncertainty for the
> future. It gives a competitor the means
> to shut down commersial licensing or raise the prices. That can never be
> good.
>
> If I was to chose between Postgresql and another free database it would
> be between Postgresql and Firebird,
> where I would go for firebird for embedded solutions or when I needed to
> have databases that resided in
> just one file. Just like Postgresq, Firebird is very close to the sql
> standard, but it is not as feature rich as Postgresql

Thanks, Uno, for your very detailed explanation.

As desktop databases for Linux, I guess one can only find OpenOffice
Base and Kexi, is not it?

Paul




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