It's late at night so what am I doing...? Reading up on Postgres, of course! Postgres is an open-source relational database that has been around for a long time, but initially it was a very academic project that was somewhat difficult to install and use. That was about 3-4 years ago and since then it has made a huge amount of progress. A lot of people use mysql because it is (1) fast, (2) easy to use, and (3) easy to install. I think (2) and (3) are two of the big factors in its popularity. Performance is also an factor, I'm sure, but how many small website that uses MySQL are really hit by performance issues where they can notice the difference between MySQL and some other database?
Last year, I decided to try out the latest release of Postgres (8.0) on a Linux box, and instead of using a pre-built package, I decided to install it from source! This was what I use to do with MySQL, too. Well, after downloading the source package and running the simple command everything was up and running! It felt as easy if not easier then installing MySQL.
This weekend, following a memory upgrade to my notebook, I decided to try installing Postgres again but this time on a Windows(tm) machine. Postgres now has a native windows port and an installer. One click to to start the setup followed by a few clicks of the "OK" button and Postgres is now running on my notebook. So simple...
There has been a lot of misconceptions about Postgres left from people's experience 5 years ago. 5 years is like another era in Internet time. I think I'm going to use Postgres wherever I use to use MySQL. I'll update my experience with this database as I work with it more.