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At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL

For years I've been telling people to not use MySQL, but to go for better open-source databases instead, like PostgreSQL.

The reasons have been many, from them not being an actual relational database until version 5, pestering people with crappy JDBC drivers version upgrades, ridiculous float and double support, and insisting on JDBC connections being closed after x hours of inactivity, ...

Finally it seems that MySQL has dug its own grave since they stopped making recent releases available as binary or source archives. Apparently, version 5.0.27 will be the last one that their own download section will provide and you'll have to rely on commercial support, vendors or linux distributions to ship newer versions. If you want to compile from source, it seems that you can still download that if you happen to know the 'secret location' of the FTP archive.

Anyway, people please, leave MySQL behind and move on to something more serious both in terms of database quality as well as in terms of fair practices. Even Oracle 10g XE now starts to look alluring since you at least exactly know what the limitations are. Personally, I still swear by PostgreSQL.

posted by Geert Bevin in IT on Dec 30, 2006 4:21 PM : 12 comments [permalink]


Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
in all honesty, providing binaries for lots of platforms is kinda hard QA wise, and most distros will provide their own binaries (including support) anyways. I applaud them for making the source available, like I do with every company that does that, and I only would hate them if they were the only one able to make decent binaries. Maybe in the future it might come to that like with some other 'opensource' products, but for now my Fedora, my neighbours SuSE and my mothers Ubuntu come with a fine MySQL.

Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
What about Windows, MacOSX, ... operating systems that always have had binary packages. Hell, since several years it even states on the MySQL site that you shouldn't compile a version yourself since "For maximum stability and performance, we recommend that you use the binaries we provide."
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
Anyway, MySQL is going the opposite way than the rest of the industry. Instead of opening up, they're closing down as they add features and become more 'enterprise targeted'. That is hardly encouraging. Their whole approach seems to be to lure people into paying for commercial support any way they can.
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
you're right about the mysql binaries on windows and osx, suddenly dawns on me we use those at work on windows, which is for me an excellent reason to move to linux :p. That might not be such a smart move.
About moving to more closed, redhat has about the same with their enterprise line, and so do other distros, and yes, thats also about luring people into commercial support. I guess its hard to get people to pay for commercial support, or if you have people who can self compile its too expensive to commercially support them.
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
This won't change a dime to the fact that PostgreSQL is a slug and makes both simple and complex things as complicated. :p
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
Right on about PostgreSQL being slow Anonymous and I do not know about any concept in rdbms that is actually really simple. Of course on the other hand you talk to MySQL users that still don't know about transactions...
This was a troll answer to troll comment!
Flame war begins here...
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
It's odd that you've been searching far and wide for a good reason to ditch MySQL. Like.. "finally they did something I can use against them".

I've been against MySQL for years, just because I belived the "propaganda", but then I had the pleasure of installing an up to date version of it suddenly realise how much smoother and simpler it feels compared to PostgreSQL.

I don't have any enterprise applications running on MySQL - heck for my uses SQLite might even be well enough, but for multi-site/user deployment I find MySQL quite useful and fulfilling.

Btw, I guess that most Linux/BSD users can't be bothered much about the missing binary distribution since the packaging is often customized for each platform with compile-time adjustments.
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
I haven't been searching far and wide, I have stopped using it years ago except for supporting it in RIFE.

However, many people kind "don't believe" me when I say that it's ridiculous to choose it because there are so many better alternatives out there. I really can't grasp why you find that MySQL feel smoother than PostgreSQL. The first step, user administration is already a big pain in MySQL. There's little than can be done 'smoother' than in PostgreSQL when it comes to console usage on Linux:
- createdb -E UNICODE blah
- createuser blah
- psql blah

And off you go ... the SQL you use is terrifyingly close to SQL 92 (and more of course) and surprisingly it all works as it should. You don't have to worry about which features have been crippled or creatively done different. You don't have to worry about which table format you're going to choose (though I suppose that everyone uses inno on MySQL nowadays, you must be crazy not to).

Please tell me ... what feels smoother?
What's smotther in MySQL
Well forgive me for not being a wizard in this area, but let's look at the user-management..

I want a new database and user for a site or application. In MySQL I'd:
$ mysql -uroot -p
mysql> create database foodb;
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON foodb.* TO foouser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'bigsecrect';
mysql> flush privileges;

In PostgreSQL I suppose:
$ su - postgres
# createuser -P -A -D foouser
# createdb -O foouser foodb

Or in order to set a password CREATE USER foouser WITH PASSWORD 'bigsecret';

Given that these commands limit access for foouser to just foodb, it's about the same work when you have me list it like this :-)

I just felt smoother when I switched. Also I'm _told_ that MySQL performs better.

You could probably convince me to switch, if there are other good reason than odd distribution-policies. I'm about to switch to a new server these days anyway :-)
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
I don't see what's smoother at all, it's always been the other way 'round for me. Also, "you're told that MySQL is faster", check your facts? Alexander gave a good link.
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
Quite frankly I cannot see or feel the difference in speed. Also I guess Alexander's irony fooled me. I don't think that the test on is conclusive. I didn't pretend there were any facts to back it.

If you say so, I'll take your word for it. Since now "I'm told" otherwise.

I guess my assumptions on the privileges above were right. Then the user-management might not be any smoother.

I'll have a look at PostgreSQL. Thanks for the heads up, after all.
Re: At last, an excellent reason to ditch MySQL
I think too that speed is not an issue anymore, while it really was prior to PostgreSQL 7. Ever since 8.2 now, PostgreSQL has done an amazing job on speed improvement (+20% on OLTP tests over 8.1, source). While the might not be the best link, even the mysql guys recognize the scaling problems on hi-concurrent systems.
My personal mileage is that requiring more sophisticated features as subselects, views, foreign keys, transactions, triggers, constraints, ... I ditched MySQL version 3 or so years back! I would never go back. I probably have misbelieves about MySQL from back in the days, yet, PostgreSQL is simply bringing entreprise level rdbms to our projects.
And, since we should live with the idea that data we put in the database will probably outlive us and our applications, integrity is also a nice thing to have ;)

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