Updated 2013-12-08 22:31:49 by RLE

Luis Tue Nov 23 2004

Sort of XBASE clon for linux Project

Using a terminal to format output from tcl.

I am a migrating an Xbase system from Sco Openserver to linux, I used foxplus for a long time in the past, I tried to find something like that which will work in linux ever since I guess 1995, I didn't find what I was looking for, I found better alternatives like SQL databases (mysql, postgresql) and the programming script languages to accompany this (perl, python, tcl, some not even scripts like C), I like tcl because is not strongly typed (everything is just a string!) which makes life a lot easier for the programmer!... and with today computers it is just as fast as you would want it to be (even on pentium I), even 486 66Mhz for up to ten users, depending on what your doing with it.

Allow me some free slack to rant away:

I learned along the way how to use linux and love it, is a great OS and is free, I have also learned of the promises the OSS brings to building stuff (not just software), this is what I call a Revolution, I have learned there are on going projects on hardware graphics cards, I find this new way of producing things (not just software) amazing and very promising into bringing the world to a better and new age (no less), just the amazing gift linux is and the fact that it exists as it is today, and the way it advances every day, makes me wonder of the possibilities... for those politically aware it is the Cuba of the software world in my eyes, like it or hate it... ;O). In fact like Cuba Linux could face a total invasion (a war of extermination) to end it from the dark sinister empire of Microsoft, who doesn't waste time to threaten even whole areas of the world (asian countries) with litigation if they choose to use linux... :O/, I wander if the gringos will be able to tackled the colaboration that breeds thru the internet, it will certainly redefine the world as we know it, it is now doing this as I write. Now when I say gringos I mean the few people (very rich) that "really" runs the US, because I love the US people for whom all I have is nothing but respect, heck most of my family lives there before our territory was taken from us, also my uncle gave his life generously and without the need of being drafted against the dark time of nazism, it is only a very sorrow and painful feeling I have now when I see this times back in our time, Irak the victim and the offender being the US with the same vile cinism Adolf used, and I will not take this back.

End of ranting.

Although (is my understading) that tcl is not GPL, which for instance python is! (actually python is BSD I learned, my take is that it is similar, althou I think BSD license stagnates and forbids further rapid improvement, which as everything I say is a matter of discussion and can be wrong because I am not well informed at all just barely, and I still have my doubts on basing my work on something that is not GPLed.... gulp... I did choose it because of the hurry of delivering a system in 6 months deadline, and some entanglement with support for mysql on python plus the typing of the language, I like simple things, but I will re-consider this depending on the success of this project, if somebody can explain to me if tcl is GPL or not please do so... despite all, choice is a wonderful thing and we have that with GLP, BSD, OSS, linux...

I was really frustrated a few years ago because I didn't find an equivalent system to Xbase systems on linux, there were a few pieces here and a few pieces there, all proprietary (flagship, and other I just forgot...), so I learned the new ways, but as it turned out the users of my systems got use (in some cases they have been working with a few of those systems for over 10 years now!!....) to the good old console, and rejected using a graphic alternative, which is really cool indeed because you get images, scroll bars, buttons, you can even customized buttons with images to theme the app really nice, so upon doing another research a few weeks ago on xbases programs in linux I didn't find anything cause thats all but extinct I guess, and knowing a bit more now on all this than I did in 1995, and also having the need to finally shoot down and old Sco Openserver-FoxPlus+ yuukks!!, and even after doing all the programming on tcl/tk with mysql and seeing the rejecting it got from the users of the system who prefered character base input into the database!, decided to start this little project and share it just in case there is somebody out there with this same need and in the spirit of the best community in the world.

In the process of my research I found this wiki wiki (fast fast fast!!) great tool, great people, very knowledgeable kind and generous just like I like 'em to be, particularly LV who wrote the minimalist curses program without it I wouldn've done anything on tcl but would be fighting with learning python the hard way...

Anyway all that I have asked the computer to do with minimalist curses, tcl and mysql it has done, so everything is going great, and as soon as I have something useful to give I will, it will consist on simple (and not so simple) commands, actually I could build something that will require little programming on the part of the programmer (it will be a goal), is nothing too hard tho is just information systems and retriving (think something like a video renting store system)... my first language is spanish so the name of the functions will have spanish names tho without strange characters.... :O), it will be a simple core program (actually core.tcl, source core.tcl) and a few accompanying programs (to create forms, lists, reports, nice reports with different typefaces thru postscript... cups)... if everything works out fine it will be a fine replacement of Xbase programming, or it can be view as a useful program for outputing information into a cell terminal from mysql databases, if some new project falls in my hands that requires some programming in cell character terminals I will try to use Postgres so to include it too, but it will be only if... if there is something like curses on windows (maybe thru cygwin) than it could also be use on windows... I don't discard that also for a future choice, maybe with vterminal.... the use of the system I am replacing is to log users into a linux server with a terminal program (not the command window from window xp because it doesn't work with this but something like qvterm).

LES Wow! James Joyce... BAS Tcl is BSD, not GPL. However, BSD is arguable a better license (less restrictive). Why would you want a curses interface on Windows, when generating a GUI in Tk is very easy?

CL replies to Luis that Python is not GPLed, although it is "GPL-compatible". As a member of the Python Software Foundation, I can provide references, if important.

Luis Tue Nov 30 2004 My Xbase "clon" is working fine and I have made some advancement, thanx for the feedback on the licensing models of python and TCL, the curses interface is for linux (minimalist curses C program is the base and it is a link to the curses library which works on linux) maybe if you use cygwin and curses + minimalist curses you can get this to work in windows, why a curses interface?, because my users got use to using a cell display console display, and I couldn't get them to use the graphic environment (weird as it sounds) they find it more productive and fast to just use keyboard. anyway, I have rapidly advance and would like to post my work how can I put them in a ftp server since this is rather a more or less a package, any help with this is greatly appreciated. as it is now it can do forms and lists and menus. a program to create forms is included.

luis thu dec 2 2004 I made a few changes in the redaction (pardon my english) of this document because quite frankly sometimes I can't seem to make sense (this is not my mother language), and also to clarify my rant, and frankly also to see if I was going to be censor from this site. I am gratefully surprise that was not the case, this I call freedom, and is not easy to find, not even in the "internet". My little project is coming out pretty good but I feel is not ready to be thrown into the world just yet but soon, think is a matter of 2 months at most.