[freetds] RE: SQLServer2000 and version 0.63

Lowden, James K LowdenJK at bernstein.com
Thu Apr 22 17:15:09 EDT 2004


> From: Gregg Anderson [mailto:ganderson at ghx.com]
> Sent: April 22, 2004 3:13 PM
> 
> Any idea when version .63 will be considered a stable 
> release?  And are there plans to better support the Oracle 
> heterogeneous services without the development flag needing enabled?

I can answer that, backwards.  :-)

The ODBC driver is an ongoing experiment^Weffort.  As Frediano observed not long ago, the problems are getting harder.  Two years ago, we were happy to see basic functions working correctly.  Now we're seeing the driver deployed against standard ODBC applications. Successfully, sometimes.  

As far as the ODBC driver development goes, Freddy more than leads the way.  He writes the code and applies the patches.   It's a big project, and there's room for others to join, but what's mostly happened is that people send (sometimes huge) patches from time to time.  So, what gets implemented is basically a function of one man's effort and sporadic over-the-transom help.  (I mostly tend the garden, researching and testing.  I don't like the ODBC spec very much, but I need it to work correctly, so I help.)  

One of the growing impediments is a lack of facilities and testers.  Take for example "Oracle heterogeneous services", the existence of which I first learned a few weeks ago.  I'm pretty sure none of the active developers has such a system at his disposal for FreeTDS testing.  It's proprietary, commercial, and expensive.  If someone such as yourself (i.e., who has such a system) were prepared to conduct the necessary testing, he could compile a list of functions/options that need writing.  Then they could be written and revised until they actually worked, and we could update api_status.txt.  

AFAIK, there's no free ODBC testing tool, nothing to exercise the API and list the working and non-working parts.  Neither do applications comes with a list of functions they require from a driver.  They either work or don't, and we can but hope that the logs explain what's missing.  

The process of collecting the function points (now you know how old I am) and implementing them has occurred repeatedly, with different degrees of formality.  When someone posts a message saying X would work if a, b, and c were implemented, that goes straight to the TODO.  Eventually it gets moved to the bottom, under "done".  It gets there sooner if a unit test is included, and soonest if it comes with a patch. ;-)  The DBD::Sybase interoperation got improved that way.  It's also why FreeTDS works with OpenOffice.org at all, and (if history is any guide) how that support will be improved.  

As for timing, there's no new release contemplated anytime soon.  I expect the CVS snapshots to remain stable; you could do worse than depend on that.  Don't be shy with --enable-developing if you know why you're using it.  That said, we accept patches, testing support, encouragement, and even (to some degree) direction, in roughly that order.  I like to issue releases when new features make the prior release obsolete.  How soon that happens depends, as you know, on who's involved.  

I hope that answers your questions.  

Regards, 

--jkl


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