ANNOUNCE: Helga - ODBC,CGI,Tcl,Windows NT,Windows 95,MS Windows 
Author Message
 ANNOUNCE: Helga - ODBC,CGI,Tcl,Windows NT,Windows 95,MS Windows

I'm posting this on behalf of the author, Richard Maw.  *Please* direct all
replies via email to Richard.

I would like to invite anyone in the Tcl community working with Windows NT
(Intel), Windows 95 or MS Windows, together with ODBC, especially those
developing CGI scripts, to try the first beta release of Helga.

Helga is designed for developing database applications written in HTML, SQL
and Tcl. The design goal is to reduce code length and complexity. One strategy
used is to allow the HTML, SQL and Tcl to be written in distinct sections
thereby avoiding code generation (writing one language to generate another) as
much as possible. Another strategy is to implement common functionality within
Helga to avoid frequent cloning of interpreted code. The program might be
compared to Sybase's web.sql, which uses Perl and Sybase, but Helga has its
own approach and uses Tcl, ODBC and CGI.

Helga has Tcl extension commands for ODBC access, file and directory
manipulation, date and date/time functions (even though it uses Tcl 7.4 at the
moment), complex clickable image mapping, printing and centralized hypertext
link management. However, equally important features in my view, are those
that allow one to AVOID writing Tcl code when accessing ODBC, generating HTML,
or handling the CGI interface.  

I have used Helga to implement a medical records viewing system at McMaster
University Medical Centre. This system allows access to various patient lists,
transcribed reports, lab results, demographics and other information that was
previously only available using highend PCs with specially installed software.
The information is now accessible from any PC, terminal or other computer
connected to the network including those dialled in from remote locations.
Helga made this task much easier.        

The principal documentation comes in two files in postscript format. This
represents about 200 pages of explanation which I hope, together with the
examples, make the program useable by anyone with some background in the
field. It does not explain how to format HTML, or program in SQL and Tcl. The
documentation explains how to put these skills together to create database
applications on the Web or an intranet using Helga. The examples come in
varying degrees of sophistication and include database apps, complex clickable
images, and calendar widgets.

There are two distributions a 16-bit one and 32-bit one. I have tested the
16-bit one under MS Windows with 16-bit ODBC drivers. I have tested the 32-bit
one under Windows NT (Intel) with 32-bit ODBC drivers. I have used the 16-bit
version successfully on Windows 95 connecting to Sybase through ODBC. The 32-bit
distribution contains two executables one is CGI and the other is WIN CGI.
The 16-bit version is WIN CGI. I plan to distribute the binaries freely. The
distributions may be obtained at:

If the ftp server is not responding please let me know at:

using the word "Helga" somewhere in the subject section.

Richard Maw
McMaster University Medical Centre

Tom Poindexter  

http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~tpoindex/

Sat, 19 Dec 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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