Author: Iain Patterson
Date: 01-03-02 06:02
Reading this article reminded me about the book mentioned in this message's title. It was printed in late January and I picked it up either the last day of January or very early February when I just happened to be browsing in a computer bookshop.
In fact, only the included CD (which had v7.1.3 - I'm running 7.1.2) alerted me to the newness of the book.
I'd been waiting for a book on postgres as I'd been using it for a while but had been teaching myself from scratch, as I generally do. I'd figured out triggers, stored procedures, user functions, sequences ..., all those "proper" database functions that sets postgres apart from other OSS DBMSs. However there were a few things I was (and am) unsure of. My user functions are nothing special (indeed I'm having trouble with them) and experienced DBAs would probably cringe at some of my rules and procedures.
But here was a book at last - by O'Reilly no less, and written by some postgres consultants. Surely it had to be worth my cash (and 40% off too!)
I would NOT recommend this book to anyone. Yup, not to anyone, not even total newbies. OK, maybe they would appreciate having the basics in one place but there is NOTHING in this book that you can't find in the official documentation, in a quick mailing list or newsgroup search or on any half-decent tech site.
Their "advanced" section, which I was eager to read, showed how to create a function (and load it into the database) that returned true if either of its two arguments were zero - or something equally trivial. They might as well skip the subject altogether. I wanted to know how you would go about working with various postgres internals in your C code or if there are any particular tricks and traps (say, related to memory) to be aware of.
That sort of information is what you would expect in an O'Reilly book but it isn't what I found.
I would say that anyone reading this article on FreeBSD Diary because they have some knowledge of the subject matter, rather than just because they're bored, would be likely to gain as little from this book as I did.