Subject Musicbrainz & Postgresql Vs. FireBird
Author Robert Munro
A project I have helped with a bit called MusicBrainz
( is thinking about switching database
architectures from MySQL to either Postgresql or FireBird. (see this message
from it's mailing list

To quote from their site: "MusicBrainz is a community music metadatabase
that attempts to create a comprehensive music encyclopedia. Automatic Audio
CD and digital audio track identification using community supplied and
maintained data is the first goal of MusicBrainz."

It's ideas are based on CDDB and FreeDB, except it is based on a much more
sound data structure, so it needs a proper database engine (it has some
clever tools to aid transfer of data from FreeDB). It seems to me like a
nice project that once it gets going could become a free software flagship,
and if it used firebird, could be a good example user for advertising
Firebird with.

I know this keeps coming up on this list, but I still can't find a good
comparison of Postgresql Vs. Firebird/Interbase anywhere on the web. I'm not
really enough of an expert on databases to come to a fully reasoned
decision. Some information I have found after much searching includes:
| While writing a bulletin board which I was going to use with
| postgresql,interbase and sybase I found a few things interbase lacked.
| Interbase -
| - no "CASE" for sql queries
| - 32k row limit for char datatypes.
| - lot fewer datatypes
| - less functions in general
| - no LIMIT for sql queris
(I know the limit that has been fixed & that there are loads of UDF
libraries out there)
Another contender in the field is InterBase, a mature relational database
that started out as a closed-source application. In a bid for skilled
development talent and a broader user base, Inprise Corporation released the
InterBase 6.0 database program under a variation of the open-source Mozilla
Public License for Linux, Solaris, and Windows versions. The new release
added more advanced ANSI SQL compliance and improved administration and
customization tools. With few concurrent users, InterBase is fast on simple
reads and complex joins, but its performance drops sharply under the stress
of multiple queries and numerous concurrent users. Because InterBase uses a
nonshared architecture, as user numbers increase, it must parcel data into
ever-smaller partitions, diminishing its performance levels. This major flaw
will likely be addressed if InterBase attracts skilled open-source
developers. However, the program is new to the open-source world and still
lacks the support of a strong developer community.

Is this true about perfomance not being good with lots of users, or is this
fixed with the super-server architecture?

Are there any better comarisons between Firebird and PostGres out there I
can use?

Does anyone want to join the Musicbrainz mailing list to help advocate

Robert Munro

Ps. Is there any chance that Debian packages of firebird could be made &
included in debian 4 that is currently in the testing stages? It will
probably have to go in the non free section because of the "contains code
written by borland" thing.