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Why PostgreSQL isn't popular?

 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Hey,
Looking at the dominance of MySQL database server, why PostgreSQL isn't popular although it is much more advanced than MySQL?
Maybe the PHP/MySQL combination gives MySQL a huge push, but what about PostgreSQL?
Thanks.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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I think one factor is that PostgreSQL didn't run natively on Windows before version 8; it required the Cygwin environment (which is very Unix-ish, and thus not something a Windows user would be familiar with).
 
Hussein Baghdadi
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But mainly, web hosting goes with Linux which means PostgreSQL shouldn't suffer from the issue you mentioned.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Ah, I hadn't realized that you were asking about this in the context of web hosting. I would imagine that people want on their web hosts what they run on their desktops, because that's what they're familiar with. And that would be MySQL more often than PostgreSQL, along the lines of my previous post.
 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Well, I'm not asking in web hosting context, I'm talking in general
 
Tim Holloway
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These days it's probably mostly inertia. In earlier times, getting a MySQL server up and running was probably easier than PostgreSQL. Keeping it running was definitely considered to be so - PostgreSQL historically needed frequent cleaning with the server offline.

Certainly a major selling point for MySQL was its speed and simplicity. Because it wasn't as full-featured as PostgreSQL, it was easier to get good results out of a lightweight server box. Transactions are essential for good database integrity in a heavy read/write environment, but they carry a serious throughput penalty. MySQL has added transaction support only comparatively recently.

MySQL has always been considered the performance winner in read-mostly apps, and a lot of apps - such as MediaWiki - are read-mostly. With transactions added to MySQL and with recent performance gains in PostgreSQL, the speed differences aren't as great as in former times, but perceptions change slowly.

For me, one of the biggest advantages of PostgreSQL is that it's fairly easy to migrate to/from Oracle. But not every shop needs that ability.
 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
PostgreSQL historically needed frequent cleaning with the server offline.

Would you please tell us more about this and what does it mean?
I really want to see PostgreSQL in a much more better position, it is really an amazing RDBMS and it is so powerful but unfortunately not many shops are using it.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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One example would the use of VACUUM. Before the introduction of autovacuum in PG 8.1 this needed to be run manually (or via a cron job) in regular intervals.
 
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