|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Fwd: Re: [wwwac] What is a open source alternative to MS. Access [email@example.com]
|From owner-hangout-desteny-at-mrbrklyn.com Sat Feb 2 21:49:40 2002
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Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 21:49:20 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-nylxs.com, sam.hiser-at-reelamerica.com, zaheda.bhorat-at-eng.sun.com
Subject: [hangout] Fwd: Re: [wwwac] What is a open source alternative to MS. Access [dfassoc-at-bway.net]
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In-Reply-To: <3C5C5C63.30190.67B4C2-at-localhost>; from dfassoc-at-bway.net on Sat, Feb 02, 2002 at 21:38:43 -0500
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as if to underscore the point
>From the wacks list...
On 2002.02.02 21:38:43 -0500 David W. Fenton wrote:
On Sat, 02 Feb 2002 12:56:50 -0500"Patrick J. Casey" wrote:
> Scott Wickham wrote:
> > of filemaker. Is there an open source alternative to a
> > basic pc database. Like good old dbase.
There is nothing even close to resembling Access in the open source
world, and not likely to be any time soon.
> Yes, but you didn't specify what Operating System(s) this is for and
> what licenses are acceptable (GPL, Shareware, Freeware, PD, etc.).
Doesn't matter what license. There isn't anything out there like Access
or Paradox, or even like Approach or FileMaker. Delphi/Kylix with the
Interbase engine might be as close as you can get, but Interbase is not
> StarOffice(OpenOffice) has an Access compatible database . . .
"Access compatible?" What does that mean? Yes, it's a feature-by-feature
ripoff of Access, but it's missing a lot of things, and it's not in the
new versions of StarOffice (or OpenOffice), because it's being replaced
by GnomeDB, which at present is very immature and not close to a complete
application builder solution.
> . . . and is
> available for Windows, Unix, Macintosh. However, the current version
> (5.2) takes over the desktop when it's run. A Sun representative at
> Linux World Expo said that version 6 is ready and should be out by May.
> He said the delay is getting copies into all the distribution channels
> so that it's available when it's officially released. He said in version
> 6 each component can be run separately.
Version 6 does not include the database component, unless they've made a
big change lately.
All of this is why I am a participant in a dormant open source project,
the Desktop Database Productivity Initiative (we originally called
ourselves the "Access Replacement Project," but felt that was a negative
way of describing what we wanted to do, aside from the trademark issues).
The project's website is at http://www.ddpi.org/, at least for now (the
guy who's been paying for the website says he can't afford it and we
haven't yet gotten it moved somewhere else). We have a project set up on
SourceForge (accessible via the DDPI web page), and are still, 10 months
after we got started, in the earliest stages of examining available
technologies and what's already out there. Not much is going on that is
publicly visiable, though a couple of the project members are doing
significant work with certain Linux tools and maybe in the next few
months we'll start putting together some usable tools. At the very least,
we will continue to offer discussion and evaluations of the pros and cons
of the available tools.
It's a major hole on the Linux side, mostly because, in my opinion,
Linuxheads just don't understand what Access and VBA as hosted in MS
Office actually are, and so don't see the need to work on it.
However, I'm also uncertain whether the answer to the problem is not, for
instance, something like building XUL interfaces that run in Mozilla. If
someone built a visual tool for building XUL data-handling user
interfaces and the tool came with data connectors that worked well, it
might make the whole idea of a separate desktop database application moot.
However, I'm still not terribly happy with the Mozilla UI widgets in
terms of performance and reliability (at least insofar as I see them used
in Mozilla itself), so I don't know if this is a viable long-term
And it's also closely tied to a single vendor, so it is problematic in
that respect, even when that vendor is providing an open source tool.
In general, this is a problem that is still awaiting a real solution.
David W. Fenton | http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
David Fenton Associates | http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
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