Saturday, July 07, 2007

Toad in a hole

MySQL doesn't run under Vista (it wants port 3307, which is not available), at least not for amateurs. I do blame Vista, by the way -- MySQL has NO problems that I'm aware of running under Linux or Mac OS X. Whether or not a home user can run version 5 is another question. Version 4 was getting marginal, but still ok, thanks to support from phpMyAdmin.

Meanwhile, PostgreSQL has gotten so uptown with esoteric arcana like schemas and roles that home users just scratch their heads in disbelief — at having to buy another $65 book to run an open source FREE database! Unless you're the Indonesian Post Office, you may be better off avoiding PostgreSQL.

That leaves SQLite 3.4.0, which I'm looking into. It occupies an obvious niche like a toad in a hole.

At first blush, SQLite 3.4.0 is kind of fun. The data types are much reduced, compared to PostgreSQL (you can pretty much replace anything with text, and it does rational stuff with it.) It's not a client/server, but an old-fashioned drop-in library of functions, accessible directly from C (think Bloodshed's Dev-C++). It has a CLI named sqlite3, which is similar to psql but much smaller of course. This works well, although output is not automatically formatted.

UPDATE: "SQLite Database Browser is a light GUI editor for SQLite databases, built on top of QT. The main goal of the project is to allow non-technical users to create, modify and edit SQLite databases using a set of wizards and a spreadsheet-like interface."

The browser (or SQLite?) seems to do rational things with legacy fields that have been resized, re-typed, and re-edited under MySQL and PostgreSQL, both ANSI and UTF-8, then ported to SQLite 3.4.0, I might add. Not sure what's going on, but so far I've been able to repair (manually) whatever it shows me. The wonder is, it does show me, rather than hiding stuff behind the scenes. And they're both public domain. And fast...!



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