[Tutor] Python DB

Matt Williams matthew.williams at cancer.org.uk
Thu Sep 22 15:31:28 CEST 2005

Dear List,

Thanks for all the advice! Obviously, I'm still a bit torn, but some of
the ideas looked good.

In terms of spec, the DB can be fairly simple (single access, etc.).
Lower dependency on other libraries is good. Also, it needs to be cross-

The problem (I have) with SQL-type DB is that I cannot be sure ahead of
time of the exact data structure. The DB will be about patients, who
have diseases, and also have treatments.....Clearly, I can't specify now
the exact structure of the table. The advantage of SQL is that you can
(in general) do things like constrain types for fields, and give
enumerated options, which makes the data more consistent.

The thing I liked about KirbyBase was that it used text files. This is a
real advantage, as it means that I can access the data from other
application easily, and also makes it easier to back-up (can just copy a
few files). The same would seem to be true of the XML-based options. The
advantage of ZODB was that the "object" structure seemed to map well to
the concept of patients, with diseases, with treatments, etc. (and
Shelve would work at least as a trial implementation)

The final thing is that I needs to have a simple GUI frontend. The nice
thing about ZODB is that I could just map the eventhandlers to functions
on objects..

If people have more comments in the light of the bigger spec. above, I'd
still love to hear them...


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