[Tutor] Useing Functions

Jeff Shannon jeff at ccvcorp.com
Fri Aug 20 23:39:11 CEST 2004

Alan Gauld wrote:

>>be honest, I wish I could use Python instead of Basic, but somehow I
>>don't expect a port of Python to the Pick database virtual OS
>>anytime soon... :P )
> Ah, what a week for memories. First Amdhal, now Pick.
> I think it was around '87 I came across Pick. I didn't know
> it was still being used. Is it ancient legacy or are they
> still supporting it.

It's still being supported -- I believe there's a couple of different 
implementations of Pick (we're using the D3 implementation from, IIRC, 
Raining Data).  This job (where I've been for ~6 years now) is the 
first place I've run across Pick; it seems to have a very small but 
devoted following.  (The programmers/consultants who use Pick, seem to 
want to do *everything* through Pick.  Personally, I'll be just as 
happy to never touch it again once I leave this job...)

> They did have a Unix wrapper for Pick at one time...
> but then again, going by the performance of my memory
> this week, maybe not! :-(

Our system runs as a virtual OS on top of Linux.  In theory, one can 
move data back and forth between Pick and Linux.  In practice, it's 
much easier to import data *into* Pick than to export out of Pick. 
There is a C api, and an ODBC wrapper as well, but we don't use them.

The real problem, here, is that most of this company's business is 
handled through a huge, ungainly assemblage of scripts and programs 
that have been built up over the last 15+ years.  I'm primarily a 
maintenance programmer, making slight tweaks to existing code rather 
than creating whole new systems.  And the head consultant, who's 
written most of the code and who understands the system far better 
than anyone else, isn't very interested in the infrastructure work 
that'd be necessary to enable Unix-to-Pick operations.  He's come to 
programming from the business side, rather than the engineering side, 
so he's (mostly) happy with what he already knows... and that 
*doesn't* include C or Python.  (Of four full-and-part-time IT staff, 
only the two most-junior (which includes me) know any C, and only I 
know any Python.  The other guy is now doing a lot of Perl/PHP work to 
integrate our website with parts of our database, which is a start...) 
  I've been writing a variety of our Unix-side (and client PC-side) 
scripts and small programs in Python, and I've been slowly trying to 
get more and more of our work done in that environment, but I don't 
think I'll ever be able to get our core applications outside of the 
Pick box.

Jeff Shannon
Credit International

More information about the Tutor mailing list