[development] [off topic] schema-less data

David Metzler metzlerd at metzlerd.com
Sat Feb 28 03:28:52 UTC 2009

Oh where oh where has my PostGres  gone?

Amazingly enough no mention of postgres.  Seemed, in reading this  
discussion a battle of the extremes. So the truth is probably in the  
middle.  They represent the false choice between MySQL and Oracle,  
and I think there's a lot to be mentioned about the middle ground.  
I'm frankly amazed that they never tried it.

It's clear that Drupal gets great benefit from caching serialized  
structures and often doesn't do more than use the DB layer as a  
filestore, that being said, I think this is a discussion of the  
nature of the data.  They don't give a lot of discussion about what  
it takes in IO to modify the middle of a JSON store.  Nor do they  
talk much about analysis of data, (show me all the feeds that have  
more than 600 common occurances).  Really from a cursory inspection  
it sounds like the data needs for the product are pretty simple. It  
says something if they think they can write their own indexes and be  
faster than the RDBMS.  I'll leave it to you to decide as to wether  
it says more about the developer or the RDBMS they are working with :).

MySql is great, but I don't think its ever been considered to be the  
fastest RDBMS.  I think they probably could have done well to  
consider just switching DB's.   But who knows, now that their not  
using their RDBMS, maybe they'll remember that there's more than one  
open source RDBMS out there.

Anyway, I'm not giving up my RDBMS any time soon.


On Feb 27, 2009, at 2:04 PM, Yuval Hager wrote:

> Hi,
> The following post discusses how FriendFeed uses MySQL in a schema- 
> less data
> model:  http://bret.appspot.com/entry/how-friendfeed-uses-mysql.
> They report an improvement both on speed, stability and flexibility.
> I find this very interesting, and actually quite troubling.
> Does one really benefit from moving *away* from RDBMS's? My natural  
> way of
> thinking is totally different - whenever we can define the business  
> logic in
> relational terms, we should let the database do the heavylifting,  
> and push
> *more* logic onto it - cause that's what they do best.
> I marked this as off topic, cause it's not really Drupal related,  
> but I'm
> curious about your insights about this approach.
> We've had our bunch of off-topics in this and the consulting list  
> for this
> week, so my apologies if this is too much.
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Yuval Hager
> [@] yuval at avramzon.net

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