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Re: [school-discuss] MySQL in classroom

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004, paai wrote:

> Dr. Robert G. Rittenhouse wrote:
> > 
> >>> I am going to be teaching a High School computer course this fall,
> >>> and one of the components I want to cover is databases and in
> >>> particular SQL queries.
> >>>
> >>> I am going to use MySQL for my DB both because it's free and it's
> >>> what I already have familiarity with.
> > 
> > 
> > A bit offtopic and at the risk of starting a flamewar I wouldn't really 
> > recommend MySQL for this role. Prefer to work with a more standard SQL 
> > compliant and more capable DBMS such as SAP DB/MaxDB or perhaps 
> > PostgresSQL.
> > 
> On the other hand, MySQL is easily installed on both Linux and Windows
> and is well integrated in PHP and Apache, who run also on Microsoft.
> Mind you, I don't recommend Microsoft itself, but in teaching situations
> it is very convenient that the student can select an OS that he is
> familiar with.

Now that is a reasonable counterargument :)

Quite so. If you are not overly concerned with or are willing to work
around not having some features (views, subqueries, triggers, stored
procedures) in the current version then you'll be fine. The person who 
teaches DBMS here is a bit of a crank on these issues :)

Another plus for MySQL is that its popularity means there is a lot of 
other applications (esp. PHP and Apache) that can use it. Having students 
download, configure, and install one of these applications I believe is a 
valuable experience for them. This is what a lot of what IT people do in 
the "real world" and we tend not to have them do so much in academia. We 
use it in this role.

If you are concerned with higher end SQL features MaxDB (formerly SAP DB)  
might be an interesting choice. I had occasion to evaluate it a year or
two back. Has a feature where you can actually change SQL dialects
(Oracle, DB2, ANSI, own). Windows and Linux and the usual Unix suspects.  
Some nice GUI tools (though they require MS WIndows).  Another MySQL
product these days. GPL. If you were to adopt that maybe your students 
could install SAP (I'm kidding. SAP defines huge and complex :)

Robert G. Rittenhouse      * Computer Science Dept,
McMurry University         * rob@cs1.mcm.edu
Abilene TX 79697-0968      * http://cs1.mcm.edu/~rob/