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April 1, 2013

PostgreSQL | Introducing PostgreNoSQL

The venerable SQL language has been in existence for a good four decades now, tracing its origins to an era where the punch card was still a viable input method and a computer was something you filled a room with, not put in your pocket. While SQL was a ground-breaking technology at the time and has served the data storage industry well during the intervening years, its heritage from the era of character-orientated terminals, line-feed printers and COMMANDS IN UPPER CASE is proving an increasing impediment in our modern world of cloud-hosted distributed global networks pushing social content to always-connected portable touchscreen devices.

I therefore propose that it is time for the PostgreSQL project to let SQL fade into a well-deserved retirement and get in on the ground floor to ride the coming NoSQL wave. This is a radical step, but it will not be the first time PostgreSQL has switched to a new core language, and I feel the PostgreSQL code base is in an excellent position to handle the transition especially once NoSQL evangelists have reached out to the core developers.

Details on mapping the reduced complexity provided by NoSQL are still being hashed out, but it's likely PostgreNoSQL's NoSQL functionality will coalesce around the HSTORE datatype, currently available as a contrib module but which will form a streamlined, distributed core implemented in Node.js and communicating exclusively via the JSON protocol (with 90's-style XML support being available for an interim period). The confusing plethora of index types will be removed except for the hash type, because that sounds cool. This will enable application developers to create their own index methods as required, as they will no longer be restricted by the fuddy-duddy "Daddy knows best" attitude inherent in legacy RDBMSs.

Elephant Shrew
The PostgreNoSQL mascot

Type checking and constraints will also be removed, further reducing complexity and the overhead they entail, while empowering application developers to manage their data in the way they see best. The venerable command-line orientated client application psql will be deprecated, to be replaced by a touch-screen compatible app available for both iOS and Android, while a legacy browser version curated in JavaScript with "magic pixels" in the corners of the screen will provide accessibility to old-fashioned users who have not yet converted away from the dated mouse-orientated paradigm.

Of course, many users will be wondering what will happen to the many applications and projects which are written with PostgreSQL's historical SQL capability in mind. It's not unreasonable to expect a transition period of as long as 18 months for existing application code to be ported, during which time the current PostgreSQL version will be maintained under the title "PostgreSQLegacy". Meanwhile the future branch of the project, known as "PostgreNoSQL", or "ReNo" for short, will be marketed with the confidence-inspiring slogan:

"What goes into ReNo stays in ReNo"

Posted at 2:22 PM

Comments
Btw, a insider just told me MS was going to buy EnterpriseDB and Postgresqlegacy. Wait and see ;)
Posted by: sco | 2013-04-01 14:56
No, NO!

You have it all wrong!

IBM & Oracle are merging and plan to bring out a new DB that will be developed to replace DB2 & Oracle's current DB.

It will be the most sophisticated NoSQL database to be actually marketed. As most companies will not be using SQL with it, as once they have paid the licence fees, they will not be able to afford anyone to actually write SQL!
Posted by: Gavin | 2013-04-01 15:39
That's my favorite mascot. The elephant shrew.
Smart, fast, good sense of smell, resembling nothing and yet everything, and small enough to fit in your pocket. What more can you ask for in a database.
Posted by: Regina | 2013-04-01 18:03