Archive for October 2019

Where is your path leading you?


At Postgres Conference Silicon Valley I promised during the launch that after the conference was completed PostgresWarrior and I would be taking a freedom tour to various National Parks. 


For us, our path is serving the community through education and professional and personal development. This happens in many forms including these newsletters.


Recent projects have been coordinating a successful webinar series from Yugabyte, creating  online live Postgres instructor lead training, and launching a new educational series on PostGIS. This is all happening while the Call for Papers for Postgres Conference 2020 now open! The ongoing goal is to allow any person to receive the education they need to be successful with People, Postgres, Data year around.


The current training options from Postgres Conference can be found here:

We have two performance trainings coming up in October:

  • PostgreSQL Performance & Maintenance on October 29th
  • Finding and Fixing Slow Queries on October 30th


Both of these training opportunities sell out at the physical conferences. They are solid content and at a reasonable price (149.00 USD ) it is hard to say no to a few hours for education in your day!


Are you frustrated with the limitations and fragility of Logical Replication in PostgreSQL Core? There is a new software on the block called pgcat and it has an impressive list of features to allow your Logical Replication experience to be exceptional.


Looking for a simple script to help find tuning opportunities for PostgreSQL? The perl script postgresqltuner may just be what you are looking for. Yes, there really is an active developer community for the Perl language still.


A HyperLogLog data type for PostgreSQL from our friends at Citus. This Postgres module introduces a new data type hll which is a HyperLogLog data structure. HyperLogLog is a fixed-size, set-like structure used for distinct value counting with tunable precision. For example, in 1280 bytes hll can estimate the count of tens of billions of distinct values with only a few percent error.


Our partner Heimdall Data has been creating a new type of connection pool that removes a significant limitation within other software such as PgBouncer and PgPool. If you are looking for Enterprise Authentication (Active Directory/LDAP) as well as intelligent pooling for many users (and connections), it may be worth a look. There is a webinar next week on how it all works!

Does your path allow people to “Come as you are?”

In consideration of all of the great news from our community we can’t help but reflect on the blessings we have in the world of Open Source. Remember that Open Source is about exceptionalism, creativity, and most importantly freedom. When communities start restricting these three tenets of Open Source, they are no longer Open Source communities, even if their software is.


The theme for Postgres Conference 2020 in NYC is “come as you are” and we are asserting this mantra throughout our entire community. Over the past few years there has been an influx of toxicity throughout all circles and it is time for civility and grace to return. It is time to remember that we are all human. We all have angels and demons to our personalities. We are all flawed and we are all exceptional in our own way.


"But just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them. When I say, 'be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."


-- Ellen DeGeneres


(Yes, this happened. No, it wasn’t planned.) 

Just outside of Moab Utah.


Find YOUR path.

Joshua D. Drake     October 17, 2019

Welcome to "Cultivating DEI" , a series in which Postgres community members share their insight and experience about creating a more diverse and inclusive Postgres environment where all are welcome.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about relationships between the PostgreSQL community and the Database research community. To put it bluntly – these two communities do not talk to each other!

There are many reasons why I am concerned about this situation. First, I consider myself belonging to both of these communities. Even if right now I am 90% in industry, I can't write off my academic past. Writing a scientific paper with the hope of being accepted to the real database conference is something which appeals to me.

Secondly, we want to have quality candidates for database positions. Anyone who has tried recently to fill these positions knows that this is not an easy task. If you are looking at recent college grads, there are almost no chances that you can find somebody who has PostgreSQL experience. Here is where we face the other side of the problem.

The problem is not simply that scientists do not speak at the PostgreSQL conferences, and that PostgreSQL developers do not speak at academic conferences. The larger issue is that for many Computer Sciences (CS) students, their academic research and practical experience do not intersect. They learn about some incredible algorithms, and as part of their coursework they may suggest some enhancements to existing algorithms. They then practice their SQL skills with MySQL, which from my observations lacks so many basic features, that it can hardly be taken seriously as a data platform.

If students practiced using PostgreSQL, they would have a full-scale enterprise ready object-relational database -- not a "light" version, but a robust platform, which supports a multitude of index and data types, constraints, procedural languages and much more.

I've heard from several professors that "MySQL is okay for "learning SQL." I want to ask -- what does "learning SQL" mean? Is it just learning how to write a syntactically correct SQL? One contributing factor to the problem is that MySQL comes on each laptop by default, integrated with basic tools that allow building websites. It is integrated with Wordpress. There is no reason for PostgreSQL not to have similar support, but it is not in place.

This is particularly frustrating when you recognize the amount of database research was completed using Postgres, for Postgres or with help of Postgres; R-Tree and GIST indexes, for example. Also, the SIGMOD Test of Time Award in 2018 went to the paper "Serializable isolation for snapshot databases," which was implemented in PostgreSQL.

I know the answer to the question "why do they not talk?" Researchers do not want to talk at the PostgreSQL conferences, because those are not scientific conferences, and participation in these conferences will not result in a publication. Postgres developers do not present at the CS conferences, because they do not want to write long papers. Even if they do submit something, their papers are often rejected as "not having any scientific value." I have experienced this on multiple occasions.

I came across another example of "why” when I attended the ACM/SIGMOD conference in Amsterdam. I attended a compelling presentation on the problem of cardinality estimation over multi-join queries, that introduced new optimization techniques. The presenter mentioned that he had used Postgres to build the prototype. I was too far back in the room to ask my question, so I reached out via the conference website.

I asked the presenter why he didn't submit a patch. He replied that their approach was hacky, and it needs more work to think about adding it to Postgres. I've asked whether he would be interested in working on it with some PostgreSQL community members. His reply? "Not in the next two years, I've just received a post-doc position at Microsoft, so I can't do it for the next two years."

So yes -- I know the answer as to why these two communities historically do not communicate. However, I do not like or accept it. Perhaps we can talk about and resolve this problem together?!

Contributor Bio:

Henrietta Dombrovskaya is a database researcher and developer with over 30 years of academic and industrial experience. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Saint Petersburg, Russia. She taught Database and Transaction theory at the University of Saint – Petersburg (Russia), as well as multiple database tuning classes for both beginners and advanced professionals.

Her professional experience includes consulting for a number of government projects in Chicago and New York, and providing Data services in the financial sector, manufacturing, and distribution. She is a co-author, with B. Novikov, of the book “System Tuning”, BHV, S.-Petersburg, Russia. Her researches in overcoming object-relational impedance mismatch were publish in the Proceedings of EDBT 2014 Athens and ICDE 2016 in Helsinki. At Braviant Holdings she is happy to have an opportunity to implement the results of her research in practice.

Henrietta Dombrovskaya is a co-organizer of the Chicago PostgreSQL User Group and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work Group for the Postgres Conference Series. She was recently awarded the 2019 "Technologist of the Year" award by the Illinois Technology Association. This award is  "presented to the individual whose talent has championed true innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service."

Come as you are

The theme of Postgres Conference for 2020 is: Come as you are. We want everyone to feel welcome. You are welcome for your love of People, Postgres, Data and a desire to ascend beyond the box. It isn’t about your race, gender, sexuality, political affiliation, or love of blueberry flavored popcorn. It is 100% about you, the creativity and excellence that only you can bring to our community.

Postgres Conference 2020 CFP now open

We are actively seeking content for the largest Postgres Conference in the world, set to be held from March 23rd to 27th, 2020  at the Marriott Marquis, Time Square! Please submit your content here.

Postgres Conference Silicon Valley 2019

Postgres Conference Silicon Valley doubled its attendance, making it the largest Postgres  Conference on the West coast ever! We are very pleased to be able to bring so many community members together for education, fun, and ecosystem support!



  • Postgres Conference is now offering live digital training throughout the year. Continuing on our mission of creating exceptional Postgres people, you can now not only register for pre-defined training but request specific training and we will connect you with a class! The current training options are:
    • PostgreSQL Performance and Maintenance
    • Finding and Fixing slow queries
    • Postgres + Kubernetes: yes it really is a match made in heaven
    • PostgreSQL Replication deployment and best practices
    • PgPool-II Performance and best practices


Register here:


Digital Events

We have free digital events coming up including topics such as Kubernetes, DistributedSQL, Backups, Postgis and many more. Coming up: 

Joshua D. Drake     October 02, 2019

Latest Posts

  • Where is your path leading you?   At Postgres Conference Silicon Valley I promised during the launch that after the conference was completed PostgresWarrior and I would be taking a freedom tour...
  • Welcome to "Cultivating DEI" , a series in which Postgres community members share their insight and experience about creating a more diverse and inclusive Postgres environment where all are welco...
  • Come as you are The theme of Postgres Conference for 2020 is: Come as you are. We want everyone to feel welcome. You are welcome for your love of People, Postgres, Data and a desire to ascend be...