I'm not saying setting up sqlite is hard in general, I'm saying for a
beginner who has no experience with setting up mysql or sqlite the
difference in difficulty is nearly the same.
In other words, either one will be ok for a beginner.
The purpose of rails is not for you to learn how to develop quick apps
with oracle, mysql or have you. It is meant to abstract you from all
of that. So, from a beginner point of view, it doesn't really matter
if you use sqlite or mysql, because you are learning about the
framework, and not the database technology.
I don't usually write lots of throw-away Rails apps (nor have I ever
met this illusory individual who does), so being able to quickly set
up a new Rails app means nothing to me.
I don't really know about the research world, but I do know that in
the commercial world, it is sometimes necessary to show a quick
prototype in order to convince a potential client. And that does not
mean that you are going to throw away the application. That is not
what I meant.
I work on large apps with lots of tests typically.. so using sqlite
isn't a fast option.
That may be your case, but not everyone working in research. Remember
that rails was born in the commercial world to meet commercial needs.
Generally speaking, it doesn't really matter if I use mysql or sqlite
to write a prototype to show to a potential client. I am not defending
that sqlite should be the de facto for rails, but it doesn't really
affect me or any other rails developers, because you do have an
option: add -d mysql which takes you less then 30-60 seconds.
Configuring a database.yml file is a one-time task, so spending 30-60
seconds configuring it seems a very small investment considering how
fast my development environment will go from that point on because I
didn't choose sqlite.
I never said that it takes a lot of time, but for a lazy person like
me, 30-60 seconds is saving time anyway. ;D
There is, though, one thing that I happen to agree with you on one of
your previous posts: that we should have better support for other
RDBMSs. That would be really nice.
To conclude, if I am to debate about the topic of this thread, I will
definitely say that MySQL would be the winner, which wasn't what I
meant in my previous post. I was just trying to say that to a
beginner, it does not really matter which RDBMS you use, because, like
you said, the time to setup either one is the same. And let's not
forget that Rails is not about database technology, but about writing
database aware apps as easy as possible.
I hope I have made myself clear this time.