New RDB module: RDB Interactive (rdbi) 
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 New RDB module: RDB Interactive (rdbi)

There is now an interactive analysis tool for RDB data tables (rdbtables)
called 'rdbi'. It is especially useful for rdbtables that were made from
spreadsheet data or outside sources of unknown content. Spreadsheet data
files are easily converted via 'repair -b spreadsheet_file'.

====>  NOTE, if you don't know what RDB is see the end of messge.  <=====

It basically utilizes other RDB modules (column, etbl, ptbl, reporttbl, row,
sorttbl, tbl2lst, summ, valid) to present a simple interface so one can
analyze and/or modify, or make new versions, of an rdbtable quickly.

The header information of a given rdbtable will be shown, which includes any
header comment lines, each column number, column name, and any column
documentation that may exist.

The rdbtable may be printed in column mode, in list mode (like that used by
etbl) or formatted (if a template file is available).

Online help is available at any time.

The use of a pager (LESS by default) is included which may be turned on or
off as needed.

Such actions as limiting or re-arranging columns, sorting by columns, or
selecting rows based on an expression are done with simple commands. Column
names or column NUMBERS may be used in several commands, to save typing. In
these cases temporary copies of the modified rdbtable are made, which may be
saved if desired; otherwise they are removed when the program is exited.

The summary information command (summ module output) shows the detailed
makeup of the columns and has proven to be very useful.

Commands to execute RDB modules that are not built into the interface, as
well as arbitrary UNIX commands, may be executed at any time via an escape
mechanism.

For more detail on the interactive commands for rdbi use 'rdbi -help'.

I like 'rdbi' much better than the old RDB Terminal Interface module 'rdb'
(which has been renamed to 'rdbt').

The tool 'rdbi' is available as a separate file, via anon ftp (this is
the primary RDB location) from:

    ftp://ftp.rand.org/pub/RDB-hobbs/

    file name:  rdbi

Walt Hobbs

PS My RDB mail list is way out of date; many bad returns. If you want
to be on my RDB mail list (for occasional notices) please let me know.

......................................................................
What RDB is:

RDB is a fast, portable, Relational DataBase Management System without
arbitary limits, (other than memory and processor speed).

RDB uses the 'operator/stream' DBMS paradigm described in Unix Review,
March, 1991, page 24, entitled A 4GL Language.  The operators are UNIX
filters, i.e. they read STDIN and write STDOUT so they can be connected
by pipes (the '|' char).

The operators work with relational data in ascii files.  The fields in
each row are separated by a 'TAB' char and the row is terminated with
a 'NEWLINE' char.  The first section of rows (the header) contains the
names and data definitions for each column.  The header also contains
optional embedded documentation relating to the entire datafile and/or
each data column.  Subsequent rows (the body) contains the data values.
A file in this form is said to be an 'rdbtable'.  RDB is compliant with
the Relational Model.

These rdbtables are easily ported to and from spreadsheet programs on
Macintoshes or MSDOS computers.

All operators read an rdbtable via STDIN and most write a new rdbtable
via STDOUT. Exceptions are operators that produce output listings instead
of rdbtables (like 'ptbl' and 'reporttbl').

All operators and utilities take a '-help' option to print usage detail
and other information online.

There are currently 22 RDB modules (operators and utilities) written
in PERL.
......................................................................



Thu, 06 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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