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“dbSpy: Database Analysis for Frontier”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 2:12:39 PM Replies: 0
   
Enclosures: None.

dbSpy is a new Guest Database analyzer for Frontier and Radio, by Andre Radke and Philippe Martin.

dbSpy is a low-level database analysis tool for Frontier. It provides information about the structure and the contents of a GDB, in the form of a Frontier hierarchy of tables (detailing used, free or orphaned nodes and other similar information) and optionally in the form of a graphical representation of the GDB.

Unfortunately, the web page doesn't yet say why you'd use it.

In late December, 2004, the Frontier-Kernel list was discussing problems with root-file (database) corruption and bloat. Dave Winer explained what he had been seeing on one of his machines. Andre responded with a description of a tool he had partially completed:

I wrote a Frontier tool some time ago that understands the low-level database format and knows how to scan through a root file by visiting all blocks either in sequence and also according to the table hierarchy.

I basically started out with re-implementing the window.dbstats verb in UserTalk. The idea was to be able to analyse corrupted roots and to eventually develop strategies to fix them even if doing a Save A Copy from within Frontier was no longer able to do so, but I never got that far.

dbSpy graphical overview dbSpy is a more complete version of Andre's tool, but now it includes a very pretty (and useful), html-based, graphical overview of the database. (It reminds me a little of the disk-overview image provided defrag tools like Norton Utilities.)

To paraphrase Andre, its purpose is to analyze the low-level format of corrupted or bloated databases, to help the operator (programmer) learn what went wrong and what might be fixed (or fixable) in the kernel to prevent it from happening again.


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