[Zope-DB] Re: R: R: ZODBCDA for Python 2.3.3

Matthew T. Kromer matt at bane.mi.org
Fri Apr 2 13:21:28 EST 2004

Casey wrote:

Please remember that just because software is released to you for free,
> that does not mean that it has no cost to you. When using OSS, you must
> be prepared to invest the time needed to integrate it. That may mean
> getting your hands dirty and writing some code, or paying someone else
> to do so.

and I'd like to point out that (being the last person who compiled 
ZODBCDA) all it takes is visual c++.  I am pretty confident you could 
even get it working with cygwin and gcc, but you'd have to be more of a 
windows person than I.

I say this because, whereas people enjoy using no cost software, they 
are often reluctant to vest any resources in maintenance of same.

Now as a practical matter, ZODBCDA should die -- its entirely SWIG 
driven from what I think is ODBC 1.0 headers.  As such it is not what I 
consider to be optimal software.   This is a reason I can endorse 
mxODBC -- not because I have a lot of experience using it (I dont) but 
because it's actively maintained by and supported through nominal usage 
fees.  I know for a fact that the code it contains receives a lot more 
care and attention than ZODBCDA does, which had ZERO attention in the 
past four years, with the possible exception of me compiling a Python 
2.1 version of the binary.

The dilutive nature of receiving the benefits of open source software 
often means that the value flows are often unidirectional (from the 
creator to the public) and not bidirectional.  Each individual consumer 
feels that their incremental value is so small as to be negligible, and 
never contributes even that negligible value back, either to the 
software's origin, or elsewhere in a community value chain.  "Value" 
here often doesn't need to be money -- people can derive value from 
other sources -- but even positive feedback tends to be rare, and well 

We can attempt to monetize value at times, since money is a reasonably 
good exchange medium for value.  To the best of my knowledge Zope 
Corporation (or its prior incarnation, Digital Creations) never 
received any supplemental funding from any source for ZODBCDA.   This 
would suggest that because the individual user benefit was perceived to 
be zero, the aggregate value was also zero, and as such, development 
was stopped on a product that was valueless.

As someone who wrote a different database adapter (DCOracle2) and other 
than a few "thanks" from folks in the industry I never saw anyone come 
back and say "We'd like to buy a support contract to help fund 
development."  You might imagine that this removes anything but 
self-serving reasons for developing such products.  Certainly one can 
understand that it is difficult to envision a sustainable business 
model that revolves around working for free, when one's expenses are 
not free.

For those most in need of ZODBCDA and Python 2.3.3 on Windows, I 
strongly suggest investing money in Visual C++, or time and energy in 
cygwin and gcc to get a functioning build.  Because the individual cost 
of either of these appears to be greater than that of using mxODBC, it 
would seem to me that migrating to mxODBC is the more rational thing to 
do from any individual user perspective.

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