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CODE4LIB  March 2007

CODE4LIB March 2007

Subject:

Re: GNU Metadata Exchange Utilities

From:

Laurence Finston <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 10:53:26 +0100

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (71 lines)

I didn't get the usual confirmation that the following message was
distributed to the mailing list.  Perhaps it was rejected because the
"To" address was  duplicated in the "cc".

If it was distributed , please excuse the duplicate posting.

Thanks.

Laurence

******************************************************************

Eric Lease Morgan wrote:

> On Mar 20, 2007, at 10:02 AM, Laurence Finston wrote:

>
> Laurence, this is very interesting, and thank you for brining it to
> our attention.

Thank you.

>
> To what degree do you see the development of the Exchange Utilities
> moving away from a Microsoft-based environment?

My intention is for the package to run on free systems using only free
software.  In practice, this means first and foremost GNU/Linux, to be
followed, if possible, by FreeBSD.  All dependencies on Microsoft products
will be removed _unless_ the same functionality is available for free
systems.  This is in accordance with the GNU Coding Standards, as well as
my own wishes.  I would be perfectly happy for the package to run on
Microsoft systems, but this is a secondary consideration.

> Much of the code is
> written in C++ (++), but don't know how portable that is. Moreover,
> some of the descriptive text alludes to Microsoft SQL Server as the
> underlying database. Alas, many of us don't have access this RDMS.

The programs are written entirely in C++.  In the earlier parts, namely
`ATest', which accesses OAI servers, I used more features specific to
Visual Studio and Visual C++.  In `ZTest', which accesses data from Z39.50
servers using the YAZ package, tried to avoid using these features and
used standard C++ and the Standard Template Library as much as possible.
The most recent program, `scantest', which implements the beginnings of
what I call a "generic query language" uses GCC (the GNU Compiler
Collection) and runs under GNU/Linux.  Standard C++ is quite portable,
features from the Microsoft libraries are virtually non-portable and must
be replaced.  Threads may be a problem.  I plan to use Posix threads,
which are supported on all UNIX-like systems (to the best of my
knowledge).

I no longer have access to a Microsoft system and will not support the
Microsoft versions.  I plan to build the package up around `scantest',
which I will be renaming.  I will probably call it the "GNU Generic Query
Language Interpreter".  At some later date, I may port the projected
GNU/Linux version to Windows (or even MS-DOS).  However, I would prefer to
do this using GCC and cross-compilation rather than Visual Studio.

I don't plan to use Microsoft SQL Server anymore.  The SQL code I've
written seems to be reasonably portable.  I don't think it will be
difficult to adapt it to other database software using other versions of
SQL.

Of course, if I do find a library or other institution interested in
supporting this work, that institution would have a say in how I proceed,
as long as the requirements of the GNU Project are satisfied.

Thank you for your interest.

Laurence Finston

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