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Kexi and ODB file format

maverick
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Kexi and ODB file format

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:08 pm
Hi,

I was just curios about one thing: why doesn't Kexi adopted the .ODB file format (standard and used by libreoffice) instead of .KEXI?

I've tried to find answers to this but i couldn't!!!

Tks
User avatar jstaniek
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Re: Kexi and ODB file format  Topic is solved

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:35 pm
maverick wrote:Hi,

I was just curios about one thing: why doesn't Kexi adopted the .ODB file format (standard and used by libreoffice) instead of .KEXI?

Tks

Good and rather frequent question. Some answer is here: http://kexi-project.org/wiki/wikiview/i ... le_Formats

In addition to ridiculousness of using XML for storage format (as opposed to XML for exchange format), basically ODB (HSQL inside) is neither a standard nor part of the OpenDocument Format. Myself, I added some database-related sections to the ODF 1.2 if I correctly remember but well, that's just for connection information.

Well, HSQL/ODB is implementation-defined, like SQLite (.kexi files) but the latter are orders of magnitude more popular on all operating systems than HSQL. SQLite was even once proposed to be part of HTML5. It's part of Mac OS X, some Linux desktops and Adobe apps, browser apps. In cotnrast to that Access to the contents of ODB depend on having Java environment installed (please note that originally Java was not open source - until 2007). When there was good time to decide on format ODB (Base) did not even exist, Sun did not decide to work on such program so Kexi was born. That was like 2003-2004.

So the "who was first here" is an important factor.

Now we have 2016 and .kexi files are based on SQLite files, reliable hugely popular tiny engines, natively supported and cross-platform, with instance starting in microseconds. Then I keep hearing users of ODB files who lost their data or design. I have no statistics for that but it's easy to show why this can happen: ODB is compressed to a zip container before closing. Any crash of this kind can have serious consequences. So no semi-serious database backend uses containers like this for anything but export/import operations. In contrast SQLite is full-ACID (https://www.sqlite.org/transactional.html). (HSQL too but it was *broken* by the "idea" of compressing the database file with XML metadata)

Moreover Kexi stores all information in a medium you picked. No matter if it's a proper SQL server software or the SQLite file, you also store your *designs* there (it's very simple to implement storage in CSV files and this is considered for next Kexis if there's enough backing). This is also important distinction that help to keep infrastructure consistent and more predictable. Well, because it's simpler too - there are no special cases.

I hope you find this info interesting.


Best regards,
Jarosław Staniek
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maverick
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Re: Kexi and ODB file format

Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:19 pm
Hi

I found it very very interesting. Full of things i didn't know (such as the reliability problems whit odb and it not being a standard of part of OpenDocument).

Thank you so much for this answer! :)

Anyway, if it's a frequent question... it would be good to have it added to FAQs ;)

Thanks
User avatar jstaniek
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Re: Kexi and ODB file format

Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:49 pm
The FAQ needs update, yes. Maybe with the website's update.

Please also see http://kexi-project.org/wiki/wikiview/i ... isons.html. Many projects gone: Rekall, Knoda (its author is dead :/), DataKiosk. Glom has not seen releases for a long time.

After all, MS does not seem to update its Access too much, you can google numerous unanswered questions from the user community.

I am sorry for off topic but before someone asks: the web is not a 100% solution (privacy , real offline mode) so it makes no sense to consider it as a 'killer' for these types of apps. Conversely, Kexi could be able to serve as a web service (it once did and would be again), 'web apps' cannot replicate ease of use of a native app. Well, web apps cannot even create standard menus and file dialogs... To make anything 'web'-like work (such as the good GitHub's Atom editor) one needs to embed a web engine into an app. The result is no longer a web app, just a hybrid/custom program that happens to utilize selected web technologies.


Best regards,
Jarosław Staniek
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Kexi - Open Source Visual DB Apps Builder
• Request feature or fix for Kexi here
May I help you? Please mention your app's version and OS when asking for help

 
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