Monty on MySQL 5.1
Posted Dec 2, 2008 13:47 UTC (Tue) by flewellyn
In reply to: Monty on MySQL 5.1
Parent article: Monty on MySQL 5.1
I'm using PostgreSQL 8.x as a 'better' version of MySQL 5.0
Ouch. :-) That was mean. Apt, but mean.
I have to wonder, though, if one of MySQL's problems is the plethora of storage engines it can use. I can see how some might consider this an advantage, mind you. Flexibility! Configurability! Adjust the storage engine to your needs! And it's so pluggable and hackable! But, this approach, while it works for some things, is a really bad idea with something as fundamental to a DBMS as the storage engine. It badly breaks the abstraction of the DBMS over the underlying storage. It requires database administrators to make decisions about the kind of access patterns and data models a table will have in advance, when this may not be known. And some of the tradeoffs that the various storage engines make are really unacceptable, such as not supporting transactions for MyISAM or Falcon.
PostgreSQL, on the other hand, has one storage engine. It works very well, gives great performance, it's still quite configurable, at no point does it sacrifice ACID compliance in the name of speed (that's determined by transaction isolation levels or locking, like a DBMS should), and most importantly for something so fundamental, it's invisible. There's no good reason for a database admin to have to worry about storage engines.
I'm reminded of the CPU scheduler issue in Linux, where Linus (rightly, I think) insisted on having one good scheduler, that does the right thing in almost all cases, and is tuneable for the cases where its performance is suboptimal, as opposed to having a variety of soso schedulers which work well only in narrow cases and require more advance planning to use. MySQL might be better off if they had just decided to make one storage engine that was really good, rather than going down the deceptively cool but wrong "plug in what you like" path for something so critical to a DBMS.
to post comments)