[PYTHON DB-SIG] The Java API by comparison

W. Craig Trader ct7@kaizen.net
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 14:59:01 -0400

Michael McLay wrote:
> I just ran across the Java DB interface definition and thought it
> might make a good starting point for reactivating this list.  By
> comparison the Python DB interface is much smaller.  Is this a feature
> of the language, or is the job of defining a Python DB API just not
> finished?

The JDBC was derived from the ODBC specifications, so that might
explain the size of the JDBC specs.  ODBC, of course, grew out of
Microsoft grabbing a draft ANSI standard for database interoperability.
The Python Database API doesn't say anything about the SQL statement
that is being executed, and makes no attempt to translate a `generic'
SQL statement into an optimized SQL query for a particular vendor's
database.  That removes much of the bulk of the JDBC/ODBC standards.
Personally, I think that the Python interface is fine right where
it is - it gives me a common API without requiring me to learn/build
another SQL subset.  I haven't found a database application that was
both fast and portable, and most of my customer's would rather have
fast, and aren't that worried about portability.  I'm working with
Illustra (which is an ORDBMS) so moving to something else would 
require a complete rewrite anyways.

> This brings me to the question of how we can start quantifying the
> quality of interfaces in Python.  It would be very helpful to new
> users to have a rating system in place that indicates the level of
> completeness, performance, ease of use, and other parameters for a
> given interface.  Without such a system the Python extension library
> will remain a black box in which lots of good stuff is mixed in with
> half baked and obsolete technologies.

Interesting thought, but I don't have any suggestions.  
I'm comparatively new to Python (since May) so I haven't had a 
chance to play with a lot of the extensions ... just enough to
write a simple Illustra interface extension.

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