Subject Re: [firebird-support] Thanks all for info given
Author Martijn Tonies

(nice to finally see a name)

> The 'tabular' output from isql...
> looks like something from the 70's, print it out on a dot-matrix printer
> with all these =======================================================
> that go about 3 screens wide. How are people getting decent tables of
> data out of that?

Explain? You can view your data with isql just fine. "isql" is not intended
for data export or anything, it's an interactive query tool.

If I may ask, do you have a MySQL background?

> It's funny, it seems xml is a dirty word around here. And some people
> are getting nerdy and territorial. Talk about firey. Somewhere deep down
> I think you know that a "Relational Database for the New Millennium"
> be able to output CSV AND XML as a part of the standard installation.

No, XML itself is not a dirty word. I too use a (simplified) XML for
certain tasks. However, XML is quite the buzzword when it comes
to DBMSses.

eg, Oracle stores "native XML". Now try to figure out what it does :-)

MS SQL returns XML when asked for. Yes it does. But it's different
from a simple <ROW> etc ...

The point is - XML - by itself - doesn't say a whole lot.

> Answers to questions from Helen:
> what do you think you need a relational database management system for?
> To inspect it in Excel? yes, but I was thinking more like OO Calc
> To read tables with VBScripts? yes, but I was thinking more like jscript
> Have you heard of ODBC drivers? yes
> The "business problem" with xml always gets back to: what format(s)?
> I did say that I don't need data typing -- just a way so the output data
> can be interpreted as a table and displayed more neatly.
> <table>
> <row><a>COLUMN 1</a><b>COLUMN 2</b><d>COLUMN 3</d>...</row>...
> would be fine.
> Do you actually *understand* what you want? yes
> Do you have any idea what you would *do* with XML output? yes
> XML is a "native" option for anything????
> By native, I take to mean inbuilt, presently existing. Generic I take to
mean an unbranded
> part of a general class. But apart from that, I gotta say, as one fiery
red head once said,
> "Please Explain?". What do you mean by that statement.

Should a client tool return XML (like "isql", for example) or should the
engine - according to you - do it.

What should the XML look like? Should you be able to give it a definition
and let Firebird use that for returning XML?

Or should Firebird return the simples XML variant it can find?

There's nothing magic about XML, although some people are trying
you to believe it.

> Helen, with the xml you are adding to the documentation: if it is xml at
least you
> can load a DOM, transform it, re-arrange, rename tags or attributes. If
they were
> plain text files, the process would be significantly more involved. Which
is precisely by point about getting tabular output from Firebird.
> "People don't get money for writing books and documentation for free
> (I hope you are getting paid money for the book you wrote, I know it's
> not renumeration enough for the effort involved, but why do you say
> things that are clearly not true.)

"in general".

Writing clear documentation takes lots of time. Feel free to help - you're a
"newbie", according to yourself, so you currently have the best take on what
you're missing.

> Double-quotes in comma-separated files, was never my issue, because I
prefer xml
> If you don't like xml, I can start calling it sgml or just markup. I am
mad and
> frustrated with my initial FB experiences.

Why? Because it doesn't export XML or CSV?

> I certainly didn't make, or intend any personal rudeness.

IMO, you did.

>If I wanted to, I could infer or interpret certain replies
> and question as insulting to me (but I don't). Like from the tone of the
> when person "X" said "With Regards" what sort of regards were they? From
the tone
> I don't think they were kind regards, warm regards, best regards.

Feel free to write my name in full, I can take it.

>Disdain may be a word that springs to mind. Silent and unwritten ridicule.
But in what direction? There we go again. Well, I can assure you that there
is none from me to you.

> "...isql would be bloated to do something substantially useless"
> to wrap a few tags around the text output, so that tabular output could be
> and interpreted as such, would not be bloat, nor would it be useless.

That depends on how you look at it. From a core "isql" view, it might be
bloat. From a user POV, it might not be.

Indeed, it perhaps can be discussed and it might have been too easily
dismissed by others/Helen. Point taken. But it's not that it will be added
because someone asked for it - IF it's going to be added, it will have
to be added (or as a separate tool) after a clear definition etc...

With (kind) regards,

Martijn Tonies
Database Workbench - developer tool for InterBase, Firebird, MySQL & MS SQL
Upscene Productions