My trouble with irony

One of my jobs recently has been to develop an application whose backend is to be PostgreSQL. However, as a backend I've been developing with MySQL. The idea is that they both use SQL and anything I do on MySQL (msql) should work on PostgreSQL (psql). How misguided can I be!

In an attempt to prevent problems in the future I have been trying to get psql setup on my Linux server. Yesterday I finally gave up. Nothing on Linux is for the feint-hearted but psql just isn't worth the stress. My problem has not been the installation, which Red Hat takes care of quite well. Rather it's allowing other machines to connect to psql. Apparently, it's just a case of supplying an extra argument to the startup scripts. I've tried everything but to no avail.

What made me laugh was when I tried to search their site to see if anybody had had this problem solved for them. Their server suffered the exact same problem. Apparently they had a fire that day. This was about the point where I thought sod this, msql is so much easier.

Now to my problem. Was what happened ironic? I have problems with the concept of irony and try not to use the word as much as I can. What I do know is what is not ironic and I constantly remind people when they use the term out of place. Hence I have to be careful when using it myself around the same people so that they can't catch me out as well. Would that be ironic? I just don't know...


    • avatar
    • Tom Quinn
    • Mon 10 Feb 2003 05:52

    Jake, I know something that certainly isn't ironic {Link}

    • avatar
    • spuggy
    • Thu 2 Oct 2003 07:11

    I like linux don't get me wrong, but there is some truth in -

    "linux is free if your time is worthless"

  1. Yes, that qualifies as irony.

    Spuggy, life is what we make it, and we get out of something what we put into it. Some people get more out of puzzling through a linux install on their own time than the straight dollar value of the time spent. Just look at what Jake has learned so far.

    By the measure you quoted, Windows costs a lot more than linux because of the time spent patching it on top of the user license fee. :-)

    • avatar
    • spuggy
    • Thu 2 Oct 2003 12:34


    "Some people get more out of puzzling through a linux install on their own time than the straight dollar value of the time spent. Just look at what Jake has learned so far. "

    Have just installed and configured tomcat through apache in linux 9 .. I'm with you brother. If only the servlets would work.

    its just that vi is always such a shock ..... ;-)

    I fancy that Alanis Morrisette ....

    • avatar
    • Jerry Carter
    • Mon 10 Feb 2003 12:38

    Yeah - Tomcat with servlets is a bit of a challenge. I had to go through a number of resources and by the time I did get it working, I was burnt out on it.

    • avatar
    • Heini
    • Mon 10 Feb 2003 16:55

    Hi Jake,

    sorry if you have not had any success but besides the large companies opinion there is no ideal Red Hat or SuSe solution. If you still go further you might notice that it is not a good idea to reinstall OS every six months. Debian is the way to go and although IBM does not understand, this means nothing. Instllation is hard sometimes but if you successfully went through the hard way you will never have it to do again. Tell me of any software that will update itself for 20 years and more. There is none.

    Cheers Heini

    PS: Sorry to say but Red Hat and SuSe have had one of the most terrible TCO I have ever seen. At least if you do not want to go the large business way and buy the cheap stuff stay with Windows or never switch.

  2. The only issue with getting too deep into mysql is that it can get you into bad practices. Postgres is much more like DB2 / Oracle in terms of SQL syntax and functionality (triggers, stored procedures, etc). Just as an example MySQL makes it easy to do "auto_increment" for a table key, it works totally differently in DB2/Oracle/Postgres.

    With regards to items like Stored Procs and Triggers, if you're using mysql you'll write a lot of this stuff in your application layer. This will add to your debugging and maintenance hassles.

    Don't get me wrong though, MySQL has it's uses for web content type stuff, but once you get into big financial / transactional applications there are better solutions out there.

    • avatar
    • Carl Joseph
    • Thu 2 Oct 2003 22:46

    Jake, have you looked into using an abstraction layer for your db? There are quite a few out there. I use adodb {Link} Makes life easier for when you need to change databases.

    • avatar
    • David
    • Fri 3 Oct 2003 03:20

    I don't about irony but I'm still struggling with this phrase....

    <and try not to use the word as much as I can>

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 10 Mar 2003 03:30

    Thanks guys.

    Carl - Funny that. I was reading about abstraction just last night. Didn't think to apply it to this problem though. Will look in to it some more. Thanks for the link.

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