O'Reilly Network: How PostgreSQL Rose to FameJun 17, 2000, 22:32 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Momjian)
"Many regard PostgreSQL as the state-of-the-art open source database application. Its roots go back to 1977 at UC Berkeley, and the story of how it reached its current status mirrors some of the best success stories we've heard before in open source. If you're not familiar with PostgreSQL, this will give you a nice foundation toward better understanding this truly remarkable database."
"PostgreSQL's ancestor was Ingres, developed at the University of California at Berkeley from 1977 to 1985. The Ingres code was taken and enhanced by the Relational Technologies/Ingres Corporation, which produced one of the first commercially successful relational database servers. Also at Berkeley, Michael Stonebraker led a team during the 1986 to 1994 period to develop an object-relational database server called Postgres. The Postgres code was taken by Illustra and developed into a commercial product. Two Berkeley graduate students, Jolly Chen and Andrew Yu, added SQL capabilities to Postgres during 1994 and 95 and called it Postgres95. They left Berkeley, but Chen continued maintaining Postgres95, which had an active mailing list."
"In late 1996, we changed the name from Postgres95 to PostgreSQL. It is a mouthful, but honors the Berkeley name and SQL capabilities. We started distributing the source code using remote cvs, which allowed people to keep up-to-date copies of the development tree without downloading an entire set of files every day. Releases occurred every 3 to 5 months. This time frame consisted of 2-3 months of development, a month of beta testing, a major release, and a few weeks to issue subreleases to correct serious bugs."