[portland] Django question

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Jan 11 06:46:34 CET 2009

So what's the scoop on Django with Microsoft SQL server, anyone doing
that on the job currently?  My demo, good for projecting to
prospectives, is MySQL, shows off using Kanji (non-Latin-1 is
important to some), but that's old hat in database work, Unicode the
norm (though might not be the SQL engine's 'create table' default).

Patrick of buzz-bot fame (came to our meeting) was telling me over
bloody marys yesterday that Oracle is really better than MySQL but I
was saying a little known feature of MySQL is you can swap out its
back end, but IBM's DB2 if you want.  I'm sure I heard that from a
master, but know I should get some citations.

Anyway, the default settings.py is flavors of Postgres and Oracle, but
I don't see MSFT in my current Subversion version.  I realize I could
Google up a reply, but am hoping for juicy anecdotes or tidbits from
real world users.  Tell us a pitfall.  Mine would be:  remembering to
set it for Unicode and remind your clients we have lots of Laotians in
Portland (me to DemocracyLab, me to... whomever).  Actually Laotian
might not be the best example, doesn't matter -- internationalization
is a big theme in some circles.

Also, people say I'm too hard on Access, just because it's not build
for robust multi-user environments (or do we disagree?), isn't it
still an excellent client, via ODBC?  Indeed, our big project through
FreeGeek involved letting the client hold on to Access, even after all
our open source ranting (we had some real die hards) because the open
source world has utterly failed to make reporting so corporate and
button down looking as Crystal Reports.  I'd counter you can do
anything with ReportLab to PDF, and PDF is the way most customers want
their reports, if they think about it (an underused format, can embed
stuff, internal links -- really fancy if kept electronic, as it should

But I think field (column) names with blanks, square brackets, all
that clutter in the SQL... count me a skeptic.  Then remember why I'm
biased:  years and years of being a FoxPro programmer, watching
Microsoft market the hell out of the VBA flagship, while keeping this
xBase competitor buried.  They only bought it to spite Borland, which
went with dBase V.  Visual FoxPro runs circles around Access, when it
comes to coding language sophistication, development environment, plus
has the same banded reports and visual tools if you need 'em.  Not
part of Visual Studio because, get this, *better* than Visual Studio.
OK, my cards on the table, I'm a FoxPro fan, what can I say, even if
it's more Python that's paying the bills these days.


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