Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The World's Most Popular Open Source Database?

That is the tagline for MySQL and everyone just assumes it to be true.  Meanwhile, PostgreSQL's tagline is The World's Most Advanced Open Source Database and everyone just assumes that to be true as well.  

So, if you say it, is it true?

If I were to say I was The World's Most Prolific Blogger, people would laugh.  So, you can't just say it.  I think you need to prove it somehow, even if anecdotally. 

So, there is a lot of proof out there for both statements.  I have always maintained that:

the best Postgres customer is one who already uses MySQL

Why?  Because they are already suffering with its lack of data integrity, lack of scalability, etc.  Don't take my word for it.  Do a google search or see einhverfr's reivews of both Postgres and MySQL on Ohloh.

Postgres is by far the world's most advanced open source database.  The proof is everywhere.

And I hate to be the one to buck conventional wisdom (right.... lol), but is MySQL really the world's most popular open source database?

I don't know anymore.  There is plenty of proof out there for sure.  But, take a look at freshmeat and you really have to wonder.  Postgres is the 21st most popular project.  MySQL is 336th!!!

Add to that the fact that there is relatively zero marketing and no company behind Postgres and you start to wonder what the real results are.  MySQL tracks customers and downloads.  Postgres does not.  We only know who the Postgres users are if they tell us. 

I think the claim by MySQL may be true only because we can't prove it wrong.  Wouldn't it be ironic if Postgres was BOTH the most advanced AND the most popular?

My next blog post will be about what makes MySQL so popular.

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