[Pharo-users] Pharo and SQLite

Jimmie Houchin jlhouchin at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 18:10:11 EDT 2015

Hello Offray,

If we didn't have the big push for GitHub. I would love to see a Fossil 
source code interface for Pharo. If we had this we could potentially 
replace SmalltalkHub with something more functional almost instantly. 
This is a big assumption, but possibly correct. But since it comes with 
a web ui it has a start. I just don't know what would be involved in 
making it suitable for a community of projects. I just find SmalltalkHub 
painful. I haven't actually started using Fossil yet. Just watched the 
videos and began reading the book and drinking the kool-aid. :)

I do love how pro-active he is being in suggesting big things to 
established products or ideas.

While I am very pro doing as much stuff in Pharo as possible. ie: not 
using every tool out there from other languages, Python, Ruby, etc.

I do think it is a good thing when it comes to things like data 
persistence to be ready to use solutions that help people feel 
comfortable that they could have an exit strategy should Pharo some how 
crash, go crazy, quit working or simply fade away like many believe 
Smalltalk already has. It could make some people a little more 
comfortable in a Pharo solution.

He talks about LibreOffice and what benefits it could have if it used 
SQLite rather than a pile of files for persistency. What if Pharo was 
the app and SQLite the persistency for the document? We could do our own 
office suite or whatever. We would have a portable, future proof, 
application file format that people beyond the Pharo/Smalltalk community 
could feel good about.

Which app of yours are you referring to?

Thanks for your input.


On 10/15/2015 03:49 PM, Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas wrote:
> Hi Jimmie,
> Nice to see you exploring bridges between Pharo and the external world 
> (that was my message about how I planned to contribute to pharo) and 
> thanks for the reference about the "Git: just say no" video from Hipp 
> (food for my rants with git possessed friends ;-) ).
> [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghtpJnrdgbo
> My app uses fossil for storage and exports documents in plain text 
> using STON[2] format and with this combination I can have a remote 
> storage facility which is also pretty portable (just depending on 
> Pharo and a fossil portable binaries). Because I'm working with 
> documents, STON files can have long text inside, which is treated by 
> fossil like binaries and I had not have the time to explore some 
> Sven's suggestions to make it diff friendly. Also I would like some 
> yaml import export on Pharo (maybe via STON). Pharo + Yaml/STON + 
> Fossil could bring us some kind of free schema, human readable, 
> external and distributed storage system that can talk pretty well with 
> the rest of the world.
> Anyway I just want to point that are more people interested in simple 
> and external persistence using Hipps ideas and products. Maybe fossil 
> + STON can work for you also.
> [2] https://github.com/svenvc/ston/blob/master/ston-paper.md
> Keep us posted,
> Offray
> On 15/10/15 12:58, Jimmie Houchin wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I am working on a project for my wife. I initially thought I would 
>> keep all my data inside Pharo because it is a simple project and 
>> Pharo is great at persistence in the image.
>> But as I pursued the project it felt like I was reinventing the 
>> database. So I thought why am I considering working so hard to 
>> structure my classes and objects in such a way that I am in effect 
>> writing my own database. All of this to avoid using a "real" database.
>> Part of my projects goals is to keep this project contained. I do not 
>> want to require my wife or whomever I share this with to have to 
>> install anything other than copy or unzip the Pharo folder. No 
>> PostgreSQL or MongoDB installs. Keep it simple.
>> This is a goal I have for a lot of my ideas.
>> In my 20+ years of computing and Internet. I have seen lots of 
>> applications come and go.
>> (and no, I don't have gray hair, even though I have children older 
>> than probably half the people here.)
>> Many years ago, my wife and I made tremendous use out of Apple Works 
>> and Microsoft Works. Apple at home and for me Microsoft at work. We 
>> loved the ease and simplicity we could throw a database together and 
>> just do stuff. It was great. In fact on my work PC I still use weekly 
>> and sometimes daily a database I wrote in 1994. I am almost at the 
>> point that Windows won't run this ancient MSWorks 4 database. I will 
>> have to move my data.
>> Of course these tools aren't the greatest. They have significant 
>> limitations, but despite the limitations they were very empowering.
>> My wife started to attempt something similar in LibreOffice but 
>> LibreOffice wasn't so simple. It was confusing to her. I briefly 
>> looked at LibreOffice but I am not convinced that it is the best or 
>> right tool for the job.
>> So that sent me on an adventure to implement this in Pharo. In my 
>> learning that I don't want to reinvent the database I have initially 
>> settled on using SQLite. SQLite meets my requirements above. It is 
>> embedded in my Pharo app and only requires including the database 
>> file I create. Very portable and easy to install along with anything 
>> else in Pharo.
>> SQLite seems like a very good match and complement to Pharo. A 
>> trusted, reliable, external persistence that is as simple and 
>> portable as is Pharo.
>> Richard Hipp creator of SQLite has several videos describing how he 
>> believes SQLite should be used and should not be used.
>> SQLite: The Database at the Edge of the Network with Dr. Richard Hipp
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jib2AmRb_rk
>> 2014 SouthEast LinuxFest - Richard Hipp - SQLite as an Application 
>> File Format
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y_ABXwYtuc
>> The videos are inspirational for using SQLite. I like what he says. I 
>> encourage watching. I have watched these and others of his including 
>> his anti-git video.
>> I am not knowledgeable about the use of git in Pharo, but I would be 
>> interested if anybody has considered and knows the pros and cons of 
>> using Fossil instead. I know, it wouldn't get us on GitHub. I may be 
>> the only one. But that isn't a biggie for me.
>> TL;DW (didn't watch)
>> Use SQLite for Application File Format for persistence instead of a 
>> (zipped) pile of files and you get many benefits. Examples in videos 
>> as the wrong way, LibreOffice and git.
>> I think using SQLite like this for Pharo would be an excellent match. 
>> We gain all the benefits of SQLite, transactions, ACID. In a tool 
>> that is nicely (non)licensed, and is used and trusted generally by 
>> most all of the software world.
>> For Pharo this buys us an excellent, simple, equally portable 
>> persistence. It also buys us persistence that is trusted by people 
>> who don't trust the image for their data. This could possible help 
>> with people who explore Pharo but aren't comfortable about image 
>> only. Now of course it won't help the Emacs or Vim, ... people.
>> I am exploring the idea of using Pharo and SQLite for what I would 
>> have previously used Apple/MS Works database for. At first it would 
>> be building the app/project for my wife. And during and after that 
>> project generalize some things to make a better out of the box 
>> solution for like projects.
>> Thoughts, opinions, ideas, wisdom. Any and all appreciated.
>> Thanks.
>> Jimmie

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