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GEPS 010: Relational Backend

7,591 bytes removed, 17:57, 26 March 2009
moving bssdb comparion to db comparison page
Is the ORM available for all platforms?
== Comparing from BSDDB to SQLite ==
A sqlite shelve interface for Python:
SQLite versus Berkeley DB:
Berkeley DB (BDB) is just the data storage layer - it does not
support SQL or schemas. In spite of this, BDB is twice the size
of SQLite. A comparison between BDB and SQLite is similar to a
comparison between assembly language and a dynamic language like
Python or Tcl. BDB is probably much faster if you code it
carefully. But it is much more difficult to use and considerably
less flexible.
On the other hand BDB has very fine grained locking (although
it's not very well documented), while SQLite currently has only
database-level locking. -- fine grain locking is important for
enterprise database engines, but much less so for embedded
databases. In SQLite, a writer gets a lock, does an update, and
releases the lock all in a few milliseconds. Other readers have
to wait a few milliseconds to access the database, but is that
really ever a serious problem?
A company that justifies a switch from BSDDB to SQLite; see
Oracle's description of BSDDB; see Excerpt:
Berkeley DB Offers APIs, not Query Languages
Berkeley DB was designed for software developers, by software
developers. Relational database systems generally provide SQL access
to the data that they manage, and usually offer some SQL abstraction,
like ODBC or JDBC, for use in applications.
What BSDDB is not:
From previous GRAMPS discussions:
From the GRAMPS archives:
> Now, sometimes we get a request for a major architectural change that we
> will accept. A good example is the new database backend for the upcoming
> GRAMPS 2.0. The request came in to support a real database backend so we
> could support larger databases. We analyzed the request, and felt that
> it matched the goals of the project and would provide a significant step
> forward in the usability of the program. The result was a major redesign
> effort that will soon be released.
I think I and few others are the ones that impacted this decision. Having an
850,000 person database tends to be deadly to the XML architecture that we
were with. I've been the main person to test the integrity of the system
with my Gedcom file importing. When I found that I couldn't import my file
without extensive data loss, I came to Don and Alex and we all sought for
solutions. We found that the XML interface was taking huge amounts of
memory, and we looked for database backends that would handle the load. Don
and Alex came through with the BSDDB backend, and ever since 1.1.3, I've been
happy as a clam with the Gramps project, because I'm one step closer to
killing Windows.
I personally want to do away with it, but I need it for other applications.
I've also come to the realization that both Windows and Linux are good, but
in their own realms. I don't want this to become a huge flame war about
Linux and Windows. so if you have other questions as to why I feel this way,
email me.
> So, would we accept a mySQL database backend? There is a good chance we
> would (depending on the implementation), as long did not impact Aunt
> Martha. We have even architected the backend to support this, since we
> can see that higher end databases could provide additional functionality
> such as versioning and multiuser support.
We could accept mySQL because of this, but I agree with Don. If it negatively
impacts the end user, why would we want to proceed with it? I have a friend
that wondered about mySQL interaction, but he can see the impact that BSDDB
has had on my database, and he has sided with me as well as the rest of the
team. Not to say that this is not a possibility, but we need to remain
focused on the tasks at hand.
> So, in summary, the project is going in a direction that seems to meet
> the needs of our users. If we changed directions, we might or might not
> be able to reach a larger audience, but numbers are not our goal. We
> fully support others submitting patches and other contributions, but
> they will be weighed on how they match the goals of the project (and
> most of the patches we've received to date do match the goals). If
> someone wants us take the project in a different direction, we may or
> may not be receptive depending if the direction matches our goals.
> However, we will support your efforts if you decide to fork the project.
> Who knows, maybe a remerge will occur in the future, or a forked project
> will make us irrelevent.
I agree with Don on this, numbers don't matter as long as the users are happy.
Getting things appropriately nailed down and ready for the end user's use is
what is paramount. After all, if there were no users, why would we even have
a project with which to collaborate in the first place?
We are here for the users, especially Aunt Martha, because of the fact that
many people are just moving over to Linux and having something familiar to
them, like a genealogical program is what matters to them. Making the
transition to Linux is hard, don't get me wrong. But we are making it one
step easier by not complicating the user's experience in their move.
Like I said before, I'm just a bug finder. I'm not really a Python
programmer, or anything, but I like to find bugs. Even if that's all I do on
this project, I'm rather content. Everyone else that wants to port over to
other toolkits and whatnot is free to do so.
But also as an end user that's still a greenie to Linux in general, I can say
that this program has helped my move over to Linux that much easier. Even if
I have only contributed a little in the way of feedback (mostly from the
end-user perspective).
Alex said:
SQLite might be better or it might not, we haven't tried it. A great factor
speaking for BSDDB is that it is supported by a standard Python module,
Don said:
This is an important factor here - ease of setup and use. GRAMPS is
difficult enough to get installed on some platforms (especially
KDE-centric systems). Requiring someone to get an SQL database up and
running to try out the program is probably too much effort. What I've
discovered is that GRAMPS is one of the first programs that a lot of
new users want to get running - usually before they have a lot of
Linux experience. So we can't make the barriers to entry too high.
"Requiring someone to get an SQL database up and
running to try out the program is probably too much effort." This simply isn't true of sqlite
at all. The program would simply write to the db file. No server setup, no user accounts, no
connection settings. Just a file name. users wouldn't even know. The embeded version of MySQL
may be similar but I haven't tried it out. This might be true of MySQL though. However, I believe
it's possible to use scripts and or code to manage launching and stoping the server. It might
be possible to make it seamless for the user but would depend on the implementation.
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