While I continue to use MySQL, I am increasingly impressed by PostgreSQL and have begun to use it for a number of consulting projects. I have been impressed by its speed and versatility, as well as its future direction. The improvements between version 6.x and 7.x were staggering, and I look forward to seeing more!
If you are implementing database applications—including web/database applications—under Linux, I encourage you to take a look at PostgreSQL. Even if you decide to stick with MySQL, it is useful to understand how other databases work and why there is such a fuss about transactions, stored procedures and integrity constraints in the community of database programmers. And who knows? Maybe you will also find that PostgreSQL is better-suited to your applications than you think. One of the beautiful things about free software is that you can choose the tools that are best for your needs, and learning about PostgreSQL is a great step in that direction.
Reuven M. Lerner owns and manages a small consulting firm specializing in web/database application development. As you read this, he should be finished with Core Perl, to be published by Prentice-Hall. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the ATF home page, http://www.lerner.co.il/atf/.