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PostgreSQL: An elephant wearing a hula skirt and I find it sexy

Posted by Thu, 20 Apr 2006 22:30:00 GMT

9 comments Latest by Joe Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:01:52 GMT

Last week, I gave a live presentation to ~250 people, which was basically me walking through the process of using Ruby on Rails to talk to a legacy database1. For my example, I used the Dell DVD database... the PostgreSQL version. You can review some comments about my presentation by reviewing this entry on the blog of Ryan Davis. I wrapped quite a bit of the database in a few minutes and then showed what another 45 minutes of work could do with Rails. I’ll tarball that code and post it online soon.

Alex Bunardzic found it practical. I’ll take that as a compliment. ;-)

Earlier, I noticed this blog entry by Chris… where he said, “PostgreSQL also seems to be growing more briskly among the database category, while MySQL declines modestly. I guess that’s good news for Robby.” What exactly made me happy? This bullet made by Tim O’Reilly on Radar in his post, State of the Computer Book Market, Part 2.

“A surprise to many may be the strong growth of PostgreSQL, up 84% over a year ago. We’ve also been hearing some signs of growth in the Postgres market from our “alpha geek” radar, with reasons given including better support for geo data, and better handling of very large data sets. New companies like Greenplum and EnterpriseDB have also brought a little focus to this market. We’re updating our PostgreSQL book, and watching this market closely.”

That’s awesome! Go PostgreSQL!

Then to my surprise, I was contacted by CRN (again) to get my thoughts on MySQL’s awesome storage-engine plugin system... which showed up a few hours later in this article. The writer of that article managed to goof my last name (Robby Hill?)... and hopefully that gets resolved soon. ;-)

As I said at Canada on Rails in front of 250 people, “I find databases… sexy.”

(free desktop wallpaper!)

Why Rails? Why PostgreSQL?

Rails.. that’s a no-brainer.

PostgreSQL? Well.. they have compatible licenses… no dual-license smell when your trying to sell your application as a complete solution… and as Rails is database agnostic... there is no reason not to give PostgreSQL a try.

Who uses PostgreSQL on Rails?

If your using PostgreSQL on Rails… email me... I’d love to hear and share your story on my O’Reilly blog, like I did with Derek Sivers and Jeremy Kemper of CDBaby a few months ago, which you can read here.

again… I find databases sexy...

If your a PLANET ARGON hosting customer… you can follow these instructions to install PostgreSQL on your PLANET ARGON hosting account.

1 According to the Rails convention (and by me)... any database created pre-Rails or doesn’t follow the conventions is considered legacy. ;-)

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  1. Avatar
    Ryan Daigle Fri, 21 Apr 2006 01:15:46 GMT

    Guess that makes you an “alpha-geek”?

    You guys at PA are the ones who turned me on to Postgres – so I owe you a big thank you! Glad to hear your talk went well.

  2. Avatar
    Will Reese Fri, 21 Apr 2006 05:43:34 GMT

    For me, both Rails and PostgreSQL are no-brainers. I use them for every project I can, and would recommend them to anyone interested in web development. :)

    I’ve been a PostgreSQL administrator for almost 4 years now, and I love it. Our “Enterprise” applications support 1000+ users and large datasets, which PostgreSQL handles just fine.

    My team works in a very agile development environment utilizing mostly open source tools. Unfortunately, we have not adopted Rails as much as I would like. While I can’t divulge much information regarding these applications, I can give details on this very rewarding volunteer project using Rails and PostgreSQL.

    That was my first “production” Rails application, and I haven’t looked back. :)

  3. Avatar
    Cesar Fri, 21 Apr 2006 07:51:14 GMT

    Is the code for acts_as_legacy open source?

  4. Avatar
    Randy Schmidt Fri, 21 Apr 2006 19:12:26 GMT

    What is the best tool for working with PostgreSQL on os x? Do you use one?

  5. Avatar
    Robby Russell Fri, 21 Apr 2006 19:55:01 GMT Recommend me on Working with Rails


    Yes, it’ll be under a MIT or BSD license.


    I use psql from the terminal. Most of my development time-especially with Ruby on Rails-is spent working in script/console and when I do work directly with PostgreSQL, I use the command line tool. It works great. :-)

  6. Avatar
    David Rice Sun, 23 Apr 2006 13:06:44 GMT

    Robby, you’ve always been an advocate of PostgreSQL. Coming from a PHP background i’ve always been a big MySQL user… what would you say the greatest benefits would be for someone like myself to switch to using Postgres?

  7. Avatar
    Jeff Casimir Sun, 23 Apr 2006 20:19:47 GMT

    I’m allergic to MySQL.

    Postgres or bust! I’m surprised that many Rails-popular hosts (Site5, Dreamhost, others) don’t offer Postgres. Cheers to Planet Argon for getting it right. I have been constantly surprised that people who choose Rails over PHP don’t also make the jump from My to Postgres.

    BTW, Postgres powers all my personal and client sites:

    BTW, Robby, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ideas of doing more workshops in the future. I’ll email you with more thoughts later this week.


  8. Avatar
    Jeff Casimir Sun, 23 Apr 2006 20:21:30 GMT

    And that’s what I get for not previewing. Fixed links…

  9. Avatar
    Joe Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:01:52 GMT

    That wallpaper is just wrong. Wrong.