adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Reasons to love PostgreSQL

Posted by Oliver on the 20th of November, 2010 in category Tech
Tagged with: ipmysqlpostgresqlpythonruby

I've been hacking on a small Ruby on Rails project to summarise and then prettily display pmacct traffic data. It's not an original idea by any stretch and in fact is directly inspired by a system we had at my last job. For obvious reasons I have to at least reimplement the idea myself, and while the original was written in Python using PostgreSQL, mine will be using Ruby and MySQL.

One small pain point I've already encountered is the lack of IP address functions in MySQL. PostgreSQL at least as far back as 7.4 has supported IP address functions and in the case when you need to be comparing addresses and summarising based on local subnets they are sorely missed. It really makes me sad, and wonder why even the latest MySQL does not have any support for these functions.

Granted, having built-in support for certain functions does not always help you. It is well known that you can often gain performance for your application by sorting records in the code rather than in the database. However, without even having the option there to allow you to make a comparison, it is impossible to say which way would be better. I know that in terms of convenience and LOC savings, I'd prefer the functions to be in the database engine.

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