You may have noticed that this site hasn't been updated very much in recent months. That's because I've been busy reengineering the site to make it fully Web 2.0-compliant. Unfortunately my graphic designer is off sick, so the curvy borders weren't ready in time for the relaunch, but rest assured they will make their appearance once the AJAX interface is complete.
One of the most important changes has been to the backend database. While PostgreSQL has served me well over the past few years, I feel the time has come to give MySQL a try, because it seems everyone is using it for their websites these days. Indeed, it is causing such a stir that even renowned companies such as Oracle have acquired a stake in strategic MySQL technologies such as InnoDB. I've listed some of the reasons for my move below.
The third, and possibly final beta for the next PostgreSQL version, 8.1, has been released for general testing. As well as the usual source tarballs a Win32 binary is also available.
- Source: http://www.postgresql.org/ftp/source/v8.1beta
- Windows binary: http://www.postgresql.org/ftp/binary/v8.1beta/win32
- General Beta Information: http://www.postgresql.org/developer/beta
... according to the rumour mill, e.g.: Sun's software chief eyes databases, groupware.
Details are sketchy as to the proposed branding. Sun Java Database anyone?
Updates for the currently supported PostgreSQL production series (7.3.x, 7.4.x and 8.0.x) have been released, fixing a number of minor problems related mainly to memory leakage. The new versions are 7.3.11, 7.4.9 and 8.0.4 respectively.
- postgresql.org: New point releases 7.3.11, 7.4.9 and 8.0.4
- Release announcement:
The current issue of the leading German computer magazine c't contains a special report on "free" databases, including the usual Open Source suspects. The article isn't anything to get excited about, although it does come with a CD with the current versions of Firebird, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite for the three major operating systems, along with a whole bundle of free SQL clients.
Of more interest to database advocates is the "database competition" announced in the same issue, which is being marketed as an unorthodox attempt to determine the "best" database platform: "It's not just about the usual benchmarks: as well as information about the behaviour of databases in realistic situations, the competition aims to provide data about middleware and server platforms". Competitors should create a web-application using the database and application platform of their choice (the web server must be Apache or IIS, the OS can be Linux or Windows; any third-party software can be used, so long as it can be made available at no cost to the organizers). The application is to be based on a reference "DVD store" implementation by Dell (see the article for more details, links below).
So, this rather small Mac ends up on my desk. Ostensibly it's there for creative, multimedia purposes, but hey, underneath all the eye candy there's a decent operating system ripe for a bit of source compilation.
The first hurdle is getting a decent build environment. Basically this involves inserting
the operating system DVD and installing the
The whole caboodle takes up about a GB of space, which is way too much; on the
first attempt I tried to select what seemed to be a reasonable selection, but it
turned out this didn't install much in the way of headers. Installing the whole
lot solved that problem; most of the space is taken up by Apple Developer
documentation files, which I presume can be removed somehow.
Then it's just a case of
./configure --prefix=/path/to/wherever --without-readline,
PostgreSQL 8.0.2 is scheduled for release soon; a beta version is already available for testing.
The main change is the replacement of the ARC buffer management algorithm introduced in 8.0 by another algorithm, 2Q, due to potential patent issues. An improvement to the planner when working on newly created tables will also be included.
Some interesting PostgreSQL-related links which have come my way this week:
- Wikipedia has a overview of different relational database systems in table form. It's not particularly detailed but provides a useful "at-a-glance" comparision:
- "Datamining Apache Logs with PostgreSQL": Article by Robert Bernier at OnLAMP.com:
- Benchw Results for PostgreSQL, Firebird and MySQL: