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Interview: David Fetter

David Fetter will give a talk about PostgreSQL at FOSDEM 2010.

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I'm based in the San Francisco Bay Area and have worked in various commercial enterprises, non-profits and educational institutions. I have worked extensively with PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, Perl, PHP, PL/SQL, PL/PgSQL, PL/Perl and (of course!) vim on transaction processing and business intelligence systems.

In my free time, I brew beer, ride my bicycle, and help run several organizations for computer professionals including the Oakland Perl Users' Group, the San Francisco PostgreSQL Users' Group and the San Francisco Perl Users' Group.

What will your talk be about, exactly?

I will discuss two features which are in the proprietary RDBMSs in one form or another, and not in popular Free RDBMSs until now: Common Table Expressions and Windowing functions. The former helps deal with, among other things, tree structures, and the latter is very helpful in writing reports.

What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to convey my enthusiasm about these features and the project which produced them. In light of past talks on these and other matters, I expect to succeed.

How would you describe the unique selling point of PostgreSQL compared to other open source databases?

It's really free, i.e. not owned by any particular organization. Because it belongs to no one in particular, there is no incentive to create anti-features. It is extremely standards-compliant, lightning fast, and massively scalable.

How are the SQL:2008 window functions making queries faster?

They help save that most precious of resources, programmer time.

What is the typical use case for a common table expression in SQL?

Tree structures. As these are extremely common in real life, CTEs will be an enormous help to all.

What new functionality will we see in PostgreSQL in the near future?

The next major version of PostgreSQL will be 9.0. It will include streaming log-based replication. For more features and more detailed information, check the release notes.

Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

Of course! :)

Creative Commons License
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.