A History of Postgres

Joe Hellerstein blog, Database Systems, Open Source, Projects, Systems, Uncategorized 0 Comments

T-shirt illustration from the UC Berkeley Database Research Group, circa 1994

This is an image of a t-shirt from the Berkeley Database Research Group circa 1994. According to Paul Aoki, “The turtle was adopted as a mascot by the INGRES group in the ’70s because ‘it’s slow but it gets there.’ It was retained as the POSTGRES mascot for sentimental reasons.”

(crossposted from databeta.wordpress.com) The ACM began commissioning a series of reminiscence books on Turing Award winners. Thanks to hard work by editor Michael Brodie, the first one is Mike Stonebraker’s book, which just came out. I was asked to write the chapter on Postgres. I was one of the large and distinguished crew of grad students on the Postgres project, so this was fun. ACM in its wisdom decided that these books would be published in a relatively traditional fashion—i.e. you have to pay for them. The publisher, Morgan-Claypool, has this tip for students and ACM members:
Please note that the Bitly link goes to a landing page where Students, ACM Members, and Institutions who have access to the ACM Digital Library can follow a link and look to see if they can get the book through their ACM membership. Students who are ACM members can purchase for a very low rate…the retail bookstore is more for corporate customers.
I insisted that my article be available for free. So they’ve decided that each book will have a “sample chapter”, and for Mike’s it’s this Postgres chapter. The ACM-formatted version is available free at the link above, but I have a standalone PDF up on arXiv and latex source on github. If you see any errors or you think I should say more about something you know about, please submit a PR on github! I’ll update the arXiv version periodically.

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