Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Every time I see a job post mentioning mysql I realize they just haven't discovered postgres, or they have some really gross problem. :/

I personally prefer PostgresQL, too, but MySQL does have one massive advantage: operations tooling and clustering options.

There's a whole lot of documentation and an ecosystem of operations tooling (think Percona) and MySQL experts are much more numerous.

MariaDB's Galera cluster is really solid and had years of production use now.

Postgres is catching up, but for now, MySQL/MariaDB win in that regard.

Honestly, MySQL/MariaDB use has more do with features PostgreSQL didn't have until now. (i.e. Logical replication)

Postgres also has many features that MySQL doesn't.

Never said it didn't.

Logical replication is frequently a requirement which reduces your options to not Postgres until now.

That's very condescending of you. They may be just well informed of their use cases and know which database fits them well. Poor Wikipedia and FB with their MySQL setups, they have no idea how much better of they'd be with postgres…

I tried to switch, once. I actually gave up when, after spending entirely too much time trying to find the cli client, I couldn't figure out how to actually send queries (or it may have been the "show database" part–it's been a while)

I tend to think the HN groupthink is strong on this subject, and 90%+ wouldn't ever see an effect beyond placebo from switching. MySQL (or MariaDB, which I actually use these days) has also changed drastically since those 200x-years where most of today's folk wisdom originates.

Or they want to allow for case-insensitivity of some data, like for example email addresses on login forms.

As much as postgres is overall better than MySQL in so many ways, it's still ridiculously difficult to set things up such that

    SELECT id FROM users WHERE email='foo@example.com' 
returns the same result as

    SELECT id FROM users WHERE email='Foo@example.com'

Here's an example of doing that in PostgreSQL:

  create table user_email (
      email text not null 
  -- create a index on the lowercase form 
  -- of the email 
  create unique index user_email_case_idx 
      on user_email (lower(email));
  -- select using the index, with the lowercase form.
  select 1 
    from user_email 
   where lower(email)=lower('Foo@foo.com');

actually it is easier

SELECT 1 FROM user_email WHERE email ILIKE 'Foo@Foo.coM';

    WHERE lower(email) = lower('foo@example.com')
Is simple and hits an index on lower(email).

I'm not sure ILIKE can hit an index in your example.

It can if you use the pg_trgm extension, a good summary can be read here: https://niallburkley.com/blog/index-columns-for-like-in-post...

The citext type automatically does case-insensitive comparisons: https://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/citext.html

Postgres also has the citext column type to make this a snap.


I'm no Postgres master by any means, but I searched it: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=postgres+case+insensitive+query

solution immediately came up at SO:

    SELECT id FROM users WHERE LOWER(email)=LOWER('Foo@example.com')

That's a bad practice. Did you know: email addresses are case-sensitive on the left-hand-side.

It's discouraged by RFC5321 whilst also being defined by it.

Does MySQL do that on varchar by default?

Can't you just do this in PostgreSQL?

    SELECT id FROM users WHERE email = lower('Foo@example.com')

Because you don't always want to match 'Foo' to 'foo'?

That's what per-column collations are for. Ideally you should be able to choose from case sensitive and case insensitive collations. Unfortunately PostgreSQL doesn't support case insensitive collations (for some reason the string comparison routines use memcmp as a tie-breaker when the collation says strings are equal).

If you want to do case-insensitive for all languages you can do this:

1. first install the following (be sure to replace [your schema]:

CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm with schema extension;

CREATE EXTENSION unaccent with schema extension;

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION insensitive_query(text) RETURNS text AS $func$ SELECT lower([your schema].unaccent('[your schema].unaccent', $1)) $func$ LANGUAGE sql IMMUTABLE;

2. then in your query you can use:

where insensitive_query(my_table.name) LIKE insensitive_query('Bob')

That will not work for all languages. Look at https://www.w3.org/International/wiki/Case_folding for an explanation of why this problem is nontrivial. The lower function is sufficient: it handles case-folding properly, using the configured locale. Explicitly stripping accents can actually be the wrong choice depending on the locale

not sure why you got downvoted so much.

Everyone's answer is "just lowercase everything".

I'll respond just a bit:

1. You don't always have control over all the queries that have been written against your database.

2. You would probably lose the ability to use ORMs without a moderate amount of customization.

3. If you're migrating from a different database, you may have checksums on your data that would all need to be recalculated if you change case on everything stored.

4. Doing runtime lowercase() on everything adds a bit of overhead, doesn't it?

citext on postgresql seems a decent option - the citext docs even mention drawbacks of some of the other recommended options.

Is there a single ORM out there that doesn't support the lower() function? I googled "case insensitive search" + a couple ORMs and each of them could implement it as a one-liner.

And doing the runtime lower() on everything will generally not be slower than citext. If you look at the source for the citext comparison (https://github.com/postgres/postgres/blob/aa9eac45ea868e6dda...) you'll see it is internally converting the values to lowercase and comparing them. All it saves you is the overhead of a sql function invocation, and you'd have to do a lot of comparisons to make that difference measurable. But if you're doing a lot of those comparisons, unless you're just running the calculation on the same couple values over and over, the memory and disk latency will dominate performance, not the minimal overhead of the sql function invocation.

I agree you should probably use citext if you need case-insensitive unique or primary key values, but be aware of the drawbacks. https://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/citext.html

> 4. Doing runtime lowercase() on everything adds a bit of overhead, doesn't it?

Maybe MySQL has special sauce for doing this comparison without lowercasing the query string? But there must be some overhead relative to exact search?

Just lowercase everything. Not that hard.

That only works if you are only dealing with English. I've posted a comment with a solution that works across all languages.

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact