As you have probably noticed, I’ve just gone through a major software migration for my web site. I was using typo. It was OK, but had a few problems. While its web site describes it as “lean”, that isn’t really the reality. It also relied on a combination of Apache, LigHTTPd and FastCGI that tended to break down without explanation. The biggest reason for change, though, was that typo’s authors’ idea of what was important functionality was diverging from mine.
SQL is a dinosaur of a language, designed for the bad old days when computers enforced a fixed size and format for every kind of data, everything was upper case, and if you didn’t like it you went back to using paper. After all, disk space and CPU time were expensive, so you didn’t want people wasting them with pesky unaltered real-world information. As such, SQL doesn’t have variable-length strings. Oh, sure, it has VARCHAR as well as CHAR, but VARCHAR only gives you a string that can be any size up to some fixed length.