Monday, January 12, 2009

A new LAMP: Linux, Apache, (Java) Middleware and PostgreSQL

If you work in the software industry, particularly if you consume and/or provide free and open source software, you will undoubtedly have come across the LAMP acronym (otherwise, you just did). LAMP is an emblem of free software. Indeed, many web sites out there rely on this versatile software stack.

Nonetheless, for us Java devs, the P is excluding, be it PHP, Python or Perl, whereas the M generates mixed feelings. Of course, the Java platform was freed only recently, which accounts for its absence from the free software stage. Anyhow, Java is free nowadays. Wikipedia states the following about LAMP.

the combination has become popular because of its low acquisition cost and the ubiquity of its components, which come bundled with most current Linux distributions.

OpenJDK is available from the package repositories of Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04. I have confirmed it can be installed as easily as Apache, MySQL or PostgreSQL in those Linux distributions and undoubtely in others as well.

What about the database? Like I said, mixed feelings there. MySQL claims to be the world's most popular open source database, whereas PostgreSQL is allegedly the world's most advanced open source database. 'Nuf said. No, really.

In recent experiences with jBPM testing, the easy setup and low maintenance requirements of MySQL have been a pleasant surprise. No doubt it is more popular. Conversely, the PostgreSQL community's ability to roll out new features (foreign keys, views, subselects, transactions and, more recently, two-phase commit) well in advance of its open source competence, makes it a distinctly compelling product.

Free software is about choice. Time for a new LAMP?

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