Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: Drop Oracle support

5: Re: Drop Oracle support (response to 1)
Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Malte, you should try to at least be factually accurate. "Most core developers do not have access to an Oracle server" is a misleading statement. The truth is, "Most core developers can't even be bothered to install Oracle on their development machines, even though doing so is now pretty easy."

You also might try linking to some of the previous discussion of exactly this same question, like Feb. and Oct. 2005.

And here's a counter proposal: How about spending some time thinking carefully about just what makes supporting both Oracle and PostgreSQL difficut, and possible ways to make it easier, and then explain what you've figured out to us? Until that's done, don't you think dropping all Oracle support might be just a little premature?

I honestly don't know what the major stumbling blocks in efficiently maintaining support for both RDBMSs are, and I'd like to hear about them from someone who does.

Posted by Janine Ohmer on
Andrew, the big problem is that there are still some areas of significant syntax difference between Postgres and Oracle, and without an Oracle installation to test with people often end up committing broken code. Or they commit code in PG syntax for Oracle and don't realize it. Also, some people have just decided that Oracle support is a nuisance they don't care to be bothered with and so they just don't, with the result that some non-core packages are completely broken for Oracle because they reference queries that are out of date or missing.

Even for those who make the effort to get it right, xql files are a pain in the behind. I have complete sympathy for those who see no value in supporting Oracle and view the overhead of xql files as an unnecessary waste of their time. I have suggested in the past that since we're not likely to support more than two databases, it might make sense to pull all the PG queries back into the Tcl scripts, and only have Oracle queries in their own files.

I really don't know what the solution is. Having separate release tracks for Postgres and Oracle might work, but my gut feeling is that there are not enough Oracle users to keep the Oracle version in usable shape. I can tell you from my recent expeirences with project-manager and photo-album that it can be a *lot* of work to clean up after someone who only supports PG, and I'm not optimistic that there are enough resources out there to keep up with it, especially now that, as Carl said, Sloan is no longer going to be contributing significant funding.

11: Re: Drop Oracle support (response to 10)
Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
These multi-db support issues sound surmountable, I am willing to tackle them, and I might find time to do so this summer. So if the OCT decides not to drop Oracle support for at least the OpenACS Core, feel free to ping me c. June...

A requirement for building better multi-db support is clearly to have an in-depth hands-on appreciation of the problems with the present support. To that end, I link to my proposal to Extend Forums to suport Email List archives.