18 posts • joined 16 Aug 2008
PostgreSQL a viable alternativr
The name is actually PostgreSQL, not Postgres. The improvements Oracle is putting into MySQL are basically bringing it up to standards PostgreSQL achieved years ago. PG is a mature, stable, and reliable DBMS and will likely see expanded use as a result of Oracle's decision.
PostgreSQL has been ACID compliant for years and continues to make serious advancements that will keep it ahead of MySQL. It is cross-platform compatible and has numerous developer tools. Rock solid reliability. This article is like sports fans keeping up with the last place team in the standings. Who does that?
Did I read correctly that the reason people buy M$ Office is that they are ignorant of alternatives? And here I thought it was because it is such a superior product!
Time for the NHS to call Mark Shuttleworth.
This is another reason to use OpenOffice. While M$ Office may have some advantages, the field doesn't tilt entirely to their side. There are some who worry about Oracle killing OOo. I think there is reason to believe this won't happen. Remember that Sun bought and maintained OOo because it was cheaper than buying, maintaining, and upgrading M$ Office. This business model should still be applicable (M$ continues to turn a pretty big profit). Second, we now have official endorsement of open standards by some entities, such as European governments. OOo is at the forefront. Third, and perhaps most important, it is my impression that Larry Ellison is less than fond of M$.
Doesn't "SkyDrive" sound an awful lot like "SkyNet"?
Yet another reason to seriously consider PostgreSQL.
The silver lining
The good news is that you can actually get good help on-line. The Ubuntu community is very supportive and responsive. I had slight difficulty with my 9.04 to 9.10 upgrade (actually fresh install). The LiveCD installer wouldn't detect the SATA HD - apparently this is a fairly frequent problem. The solution is to use the alternate, text-based install disk. Am now running 9.10 and my Ubuntu love is restored.
The most advanced open-source database around is PostgreSQL. I've used it for years and have seen it in operation in several very high volume, mission-critical applications. Great product, super support.
Yet another item that Linux users don't need to worry about.
Linux couldn't ask for better marketing. I've run Ubuntu for three years and have no Microsoft products. Couldn't be happier. Linux continues to improve - enhanced read-write reliability, ext4, expanded hardware compatibility, and USB 3.0 support. All software updates come automatically from a single repository. Ubuntu is working towards a 10 second boot time. From Microsoft, "improvement" means a flashier display, lack of backward compatibility, greater use of hardware resources, and increased measures to protect the company from pirates.
Dead before arrival?
Linux has made great strides in very few years. It is reliable, efficient, and quite usable. Gains continue to be made. I'm sad to see people declaring it dead just as it is starting to take off. I've used nothing but Ubuntu for my desktop for about three years now. I would never go back to Windows. Part of the problem is predatory business practices by Microsoft, wherein folks are pretty much forced to buy their OS. If consumers had the choice - this PC with Windows or the same with Linux for $100 less, desktop penetration would improve.
This is the latest example of unfair business practices by Microsoft. How many lawsuits have they lost? Linux has a history of being cutting edge - multiprocessor support, advanced disk systems, and now USB 3.0. Ubuntu's goal is a 10-second boot time in the near future (how long does Windows take?). Official support is available with several distros, such as Ubuntu, SUSE, and Red Hat. Hardware support is, in my opinion, no worse than Vista. The Gutenprint project has made printer incompatibility rare, indeed. Community support is excellent. And all the free software you need for basic work. WINE takes care of compatibility with a lot of Windows apps.
I've used Ubuntu for several years and own no Microsoft products. My biggest complaint is that it is boring! No firewall intrusions, no viruses, no registry repair, no blue screen of death, no disk defrag. It just works, day in and day out. Oh, and how about compatibility with open-source standards. Then the big one --- it's free.
PostgreSQL is great, 8.4 looks super
PostgreSQL is entirely free whereas there was a fee if you bundled MySQL with an app. PostgreSQL has a very long development history and is stable. It is ACID compliant from the ground up and adheres better to SQL standards than most. MySQL gains speed at the expense of reliability and there is some doubt as to whether it is really faster in a high traffic environment. MySQL may have a broader user base but there are a lot of folks who are quietly using PostgreSQL. I know of a company in Denver that uses PostgreSQL in extremely high traffic e-mail applications. I also just saw that MusicBrainz uses it. The big problem early on was that PostgreSQL wasn't available for Windows, but that has been addressed and I think it is now, deservedly, taking off.
M$ Still Dealing Dirty
Some have questioned regulatory agencies telling a company what to do with its own products. The answer is simple. M$ has essentially a monopoly in operating systems (though I am a happy Ubuntu user) and is leveraging this to gain an advantage for its other software. That is anti-competitive. Keep in mind that M$ loses lawsuits on a regular schedule.
If folks want to boycott Opera, how about doing the same for all other victims of M$ predatory practices? Let's see, in addition to Opera that would include Apple, Corel, Netscape, RealMedia, Java, OpenOffice,org, Lindows, and anyone trying to adapt to their server protocols. The point is, M$ is a Machiavellian company and for them to whine about competition is truly hypocriical.
A golden opportunity for Linux
I've used Linux (Ubuntu) for a couple of years now and love it, although I must qualify that by saying I'm not a gamer. The only real issue I've had is occasional hardware compatibility problems (just like Windows Vista, huh?). Some here complain that they install a Linux distro and then can't immediately navigate it. Wouldn't that be true for any OS that one is unfamiliar with? Some argue that Linux isn't "free" in a corporate setting that requires training and support. I suspect a side-by-side cost analysis with Windows would clearly favor Linux, particularly with all the Microsoft updates, problems with backward compatibility, etc. Linux is stable, has relatively few bugs, and is more secure than Windows - didn't the U.S. Army adopt it for combat missions recently?
Microsoft has contributed to their problems with Vista - resource hog, hardware incompatibility, and ongoing security issues. Also, Microsoft's idea of "security" seems mostly to be to protect its property from pirates rather than to protect the user from malware.
I hope Linux folks take advantage of this "window" of opportunity.
It was good of you to point out that the winner gets to write the history. Business success is a combination of 1) technical expertise, 2) business acumen, and 3) luck. Actually, any two of the three is usually sufficient. Microsoft wasn't so brilliantly run, it just happened to be the survivor.
Second, I think you underestimate the acrimony towards Microsoft. Buggy software, licensing difficulties, "security" that protects Microsoft from users rather than users from hackers, predatory business practices, and decreasingly acceptable licensing agreements all contribute. One factor that led to the downfall of IBM was their "if we build it, they will buy it" attitude, and Microsoft is certainly headed there. I see a big opportunity for Free and Open Source Software here.
Third, I don't necessarily agree that people move to new products to avail themselves of the most modern standards. That is the Microsoft model, for sure, with ever changing (and sometimes secret) standards and little attention to backward compatibility. I would hope that OSI diminishes this and like the fact that some major consumers are now imposing OSI standards onto software providers. To finish the thought, I think a lot of people move to new technologies out of blind faith that newer must be better, and this is particularly true of those that have less technical expertise.
ISO may lose, but Microsoft doesn't win
ISO may have lost credibility, caving to the big M$ financial machine, but I don't see this as a clear win for M$. The main financial benefits of having an open document format are 1) access to the increasing number of contracts that require use of open standards and 2) adoption by a wider user base. If M$ doesn't implement the standard, then their office software won't qualify for contracts requiring an open standard. If M$ does implement the standard, then wouldn't they be required to make it truly "open". If so, then they have lost the battle of maintaining proprietary standards, as other vendors (and OOo) would have access to the standard. After all, proprietary standards are a major business strategy for M$, since without them I don't think their software would be competitive.
Also, if the Open XML standard doesn't pass muster (e.g., can't be implemented, has proprietary components) or if M$ doesn't play nice (e.g., "enhances" the standard without letting other folks know, as they have so often in the past), couldn't Open XML be de-certified?
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