Because I haven’t moved in yet, there is a dearth of good books at my place. In light of that, I finally picked up a Redbook. No, I don’t mean I’m interested in how to find my inner sex goddess, I mean I wanted to see what IBM’s developer tech support has to say.
This one is called Developing PHP Applications for IBM Data Servers. And that’s a tad ironic because I’m using Oracle. As Chris is fond of saying: people are born with either an I or and O stamped on their foreheads.
I was born with “cheap ass” stamped on my forehead since I’ve tried to stick to MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. But flipping through the book makes me make an observation from the cheap ass camp.
[Getting me to switch after the jump.]
A description of the book
The quality of the printing is really shoddy. I thought 300dpi photocopies went out with the 80’s. This is not a big deal since the price fits right in with the “cheap ass” thing—I got a free copy when I staggered to IBM’s booth at ZendCon.
(Aside: Holly asks if I’m not Chinese: “You break, you buy. No more than 5 pennies at a time.”)
As you might have guessed the book covers integrating PHP with IBM’s databases. What you might not know is that means the DB2 family, Informix Dynamic Server famly, and Cloudscape. By “DB2 family” I mean: UDB Enterprise Server Edition, Express, Express-C, Workgroup Server Edition, Workgroup Server Unlimited Edition, Personal Edition, Developer Edition, and Personal Developer’s Edition. By “IDS family” I mean SE, IDS, and XPS.
Hmm, it’s starting to sound like IBM is trying to give Windows Vista a run for their money.
(Aside: And by “Cloudscape” I mean some Java database which just goes to show me that the Apache group has drunk the kool-aid and “lost it.” Oh, before all of you jump on me for that last statement, you’re actually going to tell me that this is better for web development than the tag team MySQL and SQLite with a straight face? Sure, I can deploy it anywhere JVM runs. But where is that—my cell phone?)
There are two afterthought chapters. One on porting MySQL to DB2 and one on IBM’s Server Data Objects (SDO) for PHP, which sounds like a cross between Apple’s Core Data and DB DataObject. Which is a roundabout way of saying it’s probably a worthless abstraction for a highly scaled consumer-facing website, but it might be useful for enterprise development.
All of which brings me to the title of this post…
I’m a little bit “special”
You might wonder how someone can devote 415 pages to connecting a database with PHP. Well besides all the databases, there is a choice of ibm_db2, informix, ODBC, PDO_Informix, PDO_ODBC, and the aforementioned SDO. (A nice thing I noticed is that PDO_ODBC seems to have connection pooling.)
But I’ve found that if I’m sufficiently motivated, I’d slog through any shit to get where I want to go. And therein lies the problem.
IBM makes it easier to slog through the shit, but they give me zero in the form of motivation with this book.
When IBM talks about their HTTP server they have it down. Here is what I learned from the three pages devoted to it. First it’s basically Apache with an optional support license and has the following enhancements:
- A graphical installer
- SSL built-in, certified for use in government apps
- if you use Windows or AIX, it has improved CGI and page caching. The latter is confusing. Is this some sort of built in reverse-proxy?
- LDAP integration
- It’s a binary. In fact it’s binary only.
I know what I’m getting and losing by switching to this component of WebSphere. I’ve decided I don’t need it so I move on. Cake.
Show me the money
Instead of devoting 400 pages to how to switch to IBM’s server family, why not devote 40 pages to why. In particular, cheap-asses like me want to know:
- What databases are free and what costs money
- Why there are three database families.
- What do I get now over MySQL? (By “now” I mean get for free)
- What do I get later over MySQL? (By “later” I mean if I pay for it)
- What do I get now over Postgres?
- What do I get later over Postgres?
- What do I lose when I switch? (Be honest.)
Is that asking too much?