Subject: Re: "I've got more programmers than you"
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 04:15:50 +0900

>>>>> "Peter" == Peter Wayner <pcw2@flyzone.com> writes:

    Peter> A price of close to zero allows many people in the
    Peter> development shops to experiment on these tools if their
    Peter> manager is constraining their budget. This has to exert
    Peter> some pull on the prices Oracle can command.

Sure.

However, it's not clear which way.  People who can't afford to
experiment with Oracle may very well prototype apps on PostgreSQL that
do justify an Oracle purchase when they go into production, thus
_increasing_ demand for Oracle overall.

    Peter> Yes, I understand that this money pays for cubicle farms
    Peter> filled with testers, but I don't think this guarantees
    Peter> success. MS has acres of programmers and testers yet Linux
    Peter> is still more stable.

That's because Linux is programmed to be stable, whereas NT is
intentionally made excessively complex to ward off the trust-busters.
And when WinME crashes, that's just a rather attention-getting ad for
Windows NT.  :-)

Jokes aside, I don't think stability is as high a priority for
Microsoft or the majority of its customers as it is for the Linux
community.  Defining "success" in terms of uptime, if that's true,
will result in you winning the beauty contest and losing the customer.
To Microsoft.

    Peter> I think open source databases can be more reliable than
    Peter> proprietary ones. The users are often DBAs who are capable
    Peter> of programming, debugging, and locating errors. These users
    Peter> produce the best open source code.

True.  And if I was running a bank, and I caught my DBAs debugging
PostgreSQL instead of buying Oracle and debugging my apps, I'd be
mighty upset.  It's just not good business sense to do RDBMS
development if a perfectly good one can be bought off the shelf.  Now,
if PostgreSQL _already_ was similar quality, then I don't see how
Oracle could survive.  But it isn't, and I think Oracle is pretty safe.

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