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Practical PostgreSQL

by jlongino (Parson)
on Feb 10, 2002 at 18:26 UTC ( #144486=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Order Practical PostgreSQL

Item Description: A PostgreSQL Reference

Review Synopsis: Useful info, but not very practical  *****

This review was originally submitted to and so far 5 of 5 reviewers have found it useful. I regret that my first ever review of a book is so negative. I strongly recommend that you at least peruse a copy before buying it, a mistake that I don't plan to repeat.

Update 1: see the node by VSarkiss below and preview the online version before purchasing. Thanks VSarkiss!

I ordered this book thinking that it would provide the information necessary to setup PostgreSQL and interface to it via Perl. It was somewhat useful on the first count but Perl doesn't even have a listing in the index.

Speaking of the index, it is surely the poorest one I've encountered in any O'Reilly or other computer reference book I've ever seen or considered buying. It fills only 3 pages front and back. This is a 600+ page book mind you. Because of the poor index you will probably spend more time flipping through pages or using the table of contents which is rather scant as well.

It is too bad that I bought this book by mail order because if I had been able to inspect it in a bookstore, I would've never bought it. The documentation that comes with PostgreSQL is more than adequate to get it installed and working. If you are looking to use Perl as your front-end language, your time and money would probably be better spent on Programming the Perl DBI by O'Reilly.


Update 2: Added a link to Programming the Perl DBI

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Practical PostgreSQL
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Feb 10, 2002 at 23:47 UTC

    Well, too late to mention this now, but the entire book is available online under the Open Publication License. Actually, I'm curious if you spot any (significant) differences between the content in the print and online version.

      Ouch! Another argument for thorough research before buying a book. I looked around the site a bit but couldn't determine whether or not there was an easy way to print the book (I doubt it, otherwise absolutely no one would buy the book).

      As for the differences:

      • There is no CD. Moot point, since I believe everything except maybe the database example used throughout the book is readily available from the web (correct me if I'm wrong).
      • There is no online index to the book. Again a moot point, since the printed index is pretty much useless. In favor of the online version though, they include a list of tables, figures and examples in the TOC, unlike the hard copy.
      If this had been a book worthy of purchase, I would've bought it irregardless of the free online version just because of the index. I'm obsessive about hard copy and will only peruse online alternatives if the information I need is easily "findable" (and my desperation outweighs my impatience).

      I am learning, however, as I just recently installed MySQL and printed off the free, online, 700+ page pdf manual at work--duplexed and on pre-punched paper :)

      OT -- I was disappointed to find that DBD::Pg is not available via PPM. Thus the temporary switch to MySQL. Anyone made up their own .ppm they'd like to share?


Re: Practical PostgreSQL
by ignatz (Vicar) on Feb 11, 2002 at 16:21 UTC
    Ouch is right. When I browsed through this book at a store I was put off by the books small size and large amounts of space devoted to the authors LXP application server. PostgreSQL Developer's Handbook is a book worth looking at. Very in depth including coverage of Perl. I'm still waiting on a book that get's into Object-Relational database stuff.

    Is it just me, or is O'Reilly behind the curve when it comes to open-source databases? New Riders Press and Sams seem to be the leaders in this area.

    ()-()                                                      ()-()
     \"/    DON'T   BLAME   ME,   I  VOTED   FOR     PACO!      \"/
      `                                                          ` 
Re: Practical PostgreSQL
by Ryszard (Priest) on Feb 11, 2002 at 08:35 UTC
    For someone who was new to postgres I got a hold of "Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL" (ISBN: 1861005156) and actually like it alot.

    I will admit to not using much of the book at all, as there was lots SQL of stuff for beginners, however I skipped to the admin end, and was quite happy.

    There are appendix's that have stuff on integrating perl, PHP and (from memory (I dont have the book infront of me) java, and c)

    I too like hardcopy over online, however, online does have its place. I just find I dont like to read a manual off a monitor while I'm in the bath. Reading your online manual also has serious drawbacks if you like to fall asleep reading in bed..

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