[freetds] status and stability

Lowden, James K LowdenJK at bernstein.com
Tue May 13 14:00:39 EDT 2003

I thought I'd come up for air and try to take stock, see where we're at.  To
non-developers following the discussion it must seem at least a little
bizarre at times.  And a Sense of the Senate might be helpful to us all.  

As the TODO says, there are a bunch of things going on, mostly connected
with iconv, of course.  If you look at the current source code, you'll find
it's littered with FIXME comments also related to iconv.  

My sense of things is that there's no going back.  We're irrevocably
committed to generalized charset translation.  There are more changes in the
pipeline, obviously, but I'm pretty sure we're better off now than we were
before my iconv embarkation.  

I think current CVS has returned to its "normal" state for us: better than
the release, bugs quickly addressed.  Can be recommended to anyone seeking

We should soon achieve stability with UTF-8 clients, and when we do, we
should start to get ready for the 0.62 release.  UTF-8 isn't stable yet, and
requires (many) incremental changes, but no fundamental ones that I can see.
We're marking any size assumptions we come across, and fixing them with new
functions and more generalized logic.  Pretty soon, the number of such
comments will start to decrease, linearly approaching zero as we fix more
than we find.  

The release will certainly need more than simple stability.  We need a
locale/charset testing feature -- either as part of tsql or standalone -- so
folks who have better things to do than subscribe to this list can determine
for themselves if their installation is happy.  And we need way better
documentation.  Help is always welcome, btw.  :-)

This is mid-May.  A quick call to crystal_ball(struct time_t) says the
release could be ready in September.  

I think locales.conf is toast.  That is, we don't need it anymore.  I know
Steve Langasek is interested in this aspect, and has doubtless thought about
it more carefully than I have.  

Bill Thompson, in case  you're listening in, you asked if it's "safe to go
back in the water".  I'd say the answer's Yes.  But even re-writing
tds_iconv(), which is on my todo, shouldn't interfere with your work.  Come
on in, the water's fine.  


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