[Seaside] RDB access (was: Rolling with Ruby on Rails vs. Seaside)

Milan Zimmermann milan.zimmermann at sympatico.ca
Sat Jan 29 21:05:37 CET 2005

On January 29, 2005 05:19 am, danil a. osipchuk wrote:
> >I've not tried Glorp on Squeak, but IIUC it deals directly with
> >the PostgreSQL client. It would seem to be a simple matter [:)]
> >to agree on a common RDB access layer (now that there are connections
> >for MySQL and ODBC) and change Glorp to use it. We might even want
> >this layer to be portable across Smalltalks as well.
> >
> >I may take this on (the common RDB layer, not tweaking Glorp),
> >since I may need to access some data on Sybase (I hope ODBC will
> >work for it).
> >
> >--yanni
> I think what Squeak really lacks of - is proper ODBC client (not FFI
> one, with blocking, etc). 

I agree, it seems essential for acceptance in the large business (=money) to 
have relational db-independent access API similar to JDBC (I guess that's 
what Yanni means by "common RDB layer"). The first implementation would start 
either through a "ODBC-bridge" or even "JDBC-bridge". I do not know how the 
Squeak ODBC access layer works now, but it would have to be proper 
non-blocking implementation. Later implementations could be "pure Squeak" or 
better "pure Smalltalk" implementations similar to level-4 JDBC "pure Java" 

Two comments regarding a "db-independent" relational database access API and 
initial implementation:
	- The existence of JDBC literally saved Java's butt in the late90's where it 
managed to establish itself on the server when Microsoft blocked it from the 

	- In 2 of my  Java contracts (for one company - software for insurance, 
medical insurance, banks. The other - software for medical practices) the 
ability to switch the application between relational databases is absolutely 
essential. Such big industries often tell you "we buy this software only if 
it runs on Oracle (or DB2 or SQL Server etc). With good JDBC drivers, such 
switch take virtually no time - change the URL, the driver class, and off you 
go, with a few differences when accessing BLOBs. So it seems such layer would 
bring Squeak to the next level of aceptance and allowed more people to make 
living of Squeak, but as usually, this is an chicken and egg problem ... 
(unless some big company such as HP does not sponsor such effort, that would 
be nice :) )

(I hope you do not take this as me advocating Java, just drawing parallels, as 
this started as discussion of Ruby Rail )

Thanks Milan

> It seems that squeak community is not strong
> enougth to build all variety of database clients right now (like it was
> done for VW). But just one ODBC client would be sufficient in most cases
> and also could play a role of common rdb layer (like in Dolphin). With a
> help of knowlegable people I can try to do it myself ( or may be
> somebody more experienced can). The questions are - should odbc client
> be implemeted natively or using plugins, and where can one get
> specification and docs on odbc protocol
> danil
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