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According to a presentation Richard Hipp did at Ohio State, they just didn't get the same level of performance from a log-structured merge vs. the b-tree in SQLite 3. If I remember correctly, while log structured merges where able to accumulate in memory actual to consolidate writes there was still a number of reads required to support joins etc. So they just determined based upon their testing that the b-tree based code was just faster. I don't recall the exact benchmarks, it is probably on the web somewhere.

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