[freetds] FreeTDS 0.82 no longer has tds.h installed?

James K. Lowden jklowden at freetds.org
Sat Apr 19 14:34:10 EDT 2008

Dossy Shiobara wrote:
> I'm looking to update the AOLserver nsfreetds database driver with the
> latest FreeTDS 0.82.  I grabbed RC4, compiled and installed it ... and
> discovered it no longer includes tds.h in the installation path?
> Is this intentional?  

Yes.  We stopped building libtds as a shared library in June 2006, and
neither it nor its header files are installed.  Supporting it as a shared
library was unproductive and contrary to the goal of providing high
quality client libraries.  

> I'd really like to continue using the TDS API

That's no problem; it's an LGPL project.  All you need to do is copy the
header files.  You might want to maintain your own makefiles that build
libtds as a shared object and install it.  

I'm on record many times over, but I'll say it again: there's no such
thing as "the TDS API".  There's a motley collection of functions used by
the client libraries.  We are slowly rationalizing them whenever they get
too baroque.  The real problem for anyone using them isn't so much that
things won't compile from version to version, but that the calling
semantics change in subtle ways as our understanding of the protocol and
client libraries grows.  

(libtds is best thought of as a marshalling library of TDS packets.  The
interface ought to be put/get by packet type, plus some utility functions
for data conversion and state transition, and low-level read/write network
layer. I don't see that happening, though, unless someone expresses

Both FreeTDS and the AOLserver project would be better off if AOLserver
used a client library instead.  Concerns about efficiency are misplaced:
db-lib (e.g.) does hardly anything more than what your own application
must do to use libtds.  It makes no extra buffer copies, wastes very
little motion.  

My criticism isn't intended as unfriendly.  Having written to the TDS
layer years ago, you'd naturally rather maintain that than re-write
everything to one of the client libraries.  I just wouldn't want anyone to
get the impression it was a good idea then or now.  

With kind regards, 


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