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As mentioned previously, the OSPN 2013 Tokyo/Spring open source conference was held on February 22/23, and I was able to attend a few sessions on both days. While there was a wide range of sessions covering everything from open source licensing to a project to make available every obscure Chinese character variant (all 60,000 of them), I was interested primarily in the database-related sessions. The open-source database ecosystem was represented by PostgreSQL and the MySQL'n'derivatives family.

Posted at 3:13 PM

February 12, 2013

This Saturday all the stars and planets were aligned correctly with the correct row of ducks and I finally made it to the Japan PostgreSQL Users Group's 25th "study meeting" (勉強会, details in Japanese) in Tokyo. I gather these meetings are held three or four times a year, and it seems that due to increased interest and attendance there'll be four meetings this year.

JPUG meeting, Tokyo (2013-02-09) 

Posted at 3:06 AM

I need to confess something - I haven't been using PostgreSQL much over the past couple of years. Well, actually I've been using it indirectly pretty much every day, but it's been chugging along quietly in the background, storing and retrieving and otherwise manipulating data in a boringly reliable way while I've been working on Other Stuff. Every now and again I've need to interact with psql but it didn't occur to me for a long time that the output of \? has been expanded quite a bit since I last took a long careful look. In fact I might not have looked at all, but since upgrading to 9.2 I noticed that tab completion has not been converting SQL keywords to upper case like it used to, which annoys me immensely for reasons of personal aesthetics and I would like it to stop.

That's reason enough to take a long-ovedue look at the psql documentation, and discover not only the solution to that problem but also a couple of other useful new features I've somehow missed. (Apologies if this is old news).

Posted at 3:34 AM

October 4, 2010

Whoops, looks like it's been the better part of three years since I last made a post on this blog. Life, etcetera, has got in the way for a while, and in the intervening period I've also moved countries - to Japan, where I've long wanted to live and work and which has a thriving PostgreSQL culture.

Luckily I was able to step into a job involving running PostgreSQL as the core of a multi-million dollar business, and while it's not always been plain sailing, PostgreSQL (even the clapped-out 7.4 version running a legacy app) has proved by far and away the most reliable part of the operation and I'm looking forward to implementing the replication features available in 9.0.

Meanwhile this blog, and several other sites on the same server, are now of course on 9.0 (and the supporting application has even played an ever so minor role finding a bug in a 9.0 beta). Once again, my thanks to everyone who puts in much more effort than myself for making PostgreSQL such a great product!

Posted at 11:10 PM

One of the major features in the upcoming 8.3 release is the integration of the tsearch2 full text search extension as a core PostgreSQL feature. While there are no fundamental changes, there are some differences which make upgrading from an existing installation a little tricky. The following are my notes from upgrading a test version of the database which powers this website.

Posted at 7:00 AM

It's not often that you click through from {insert name of popular Web 2.0 community site here} to {insert name of Web 2.0 startup-type site here} and notice they're running the site on a decently pachydermal database engine, but this one called TrenchMice certainly is.

Posted at 9:57 PM

November 23, 2006

I've just got back from a few weeks in Thailand doing some consulting work for an international organisation, some of which thankfully involves open source in general and PostgreSQL in particular.

I took the opportunity to poke around the IT sections of a few bookshops and get the impression that the IT book market at least is dominated by publications dealing with proprietary software, mainly Windows in general and as far as databases go Oracle and SQL Server. Books on open source were pretty much in the minority, mainly dealing with Linux and / or PHP. I did find one book each on PostgreSQL and MySQL though, which as far as I could tell were both written in Thailand (i.e. not translations). I can only speculate that the infamous availability of proprietary software at very low prices through, erm, inofficial channels means open source software is at a comparative disadvantage. The current government seems to have issues with open source too, for whatever reason.

 On the other hand, I had to source a dedicated server, and most providers offer Linux as the base package, with Windows servers available at a premium. In several cases the specs for the Linux servers detailed both MySQL and PostgreSQL as "features".

(Apologies to anyone who has sent mails to me in the last month or so and hasn't had a reply, I'm still up to my neck in things to do).

Posted at 5:54 PM

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