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9.3) OBST/STONE (Forschungszentrum Informatik [FZI], Karlsruhe, Germany) (Research Systems - OO Data Model - Object-oriented Databases And Vendors)




Description

This article is from the Object-Oriented Technology FAQ, by Bob Hathaway rjh@geodesic.com with numerous contributions by others.

9.3) OBST/STONE (Forschungszentrum Informatik [FZI], Karlsruhe, Germany) (Research Systems - OO Data Model - Object-oriented Databases And Vendors)

OBST3-4 is now available at ftp.fzi.de under /pub/OBST/OBST3-4.
(Please do not confuse this new release with the older OBST3-3.4).

Experienced users will notice that we've changed the structure of
our ftp directory tree somewhat: compressed and gzip'ed files are
now cleanly separated. By sending
echo 'info ftp_listing' | mail obst-listserv@fzi.de
you will get a directory listing from our ftp server.

OBST3-4 is a major release with a new meta schema interface
that enables schema modifications. A graphical schema browser
(USE) based on tclOBST is now also available. Please note that this
new tool has not yet been tested outside the FZI and that it
is currently not part of the OBST core cdistribution.

Beside bug fixes and performance improvements, we have added support
for IBM AIX and FreeBSD and improved the installation on LINUX PCs.

We would like to thank all OBST users who have helped us by testing a
beta version of OBST, most notably:
Naresh Sharma (N.Sharma@LR.TUDelft.NL)
Michael Reifenberger (root@rz-wb.fh-sw.de)
Hans-Ulrich Kobialka (kobi@borneo.gmd.de)
Jean Safar (jsafar@lehman.com)
Gabor Karsai (gabor@vuse.vanderbilt.edu)
Stefan Bohm (bohm@math.uni-muenster.de)

The installation of OBST requires a C++ compiler
(GNU g++ 2.3.3/2.4.5/2.5.8, or AT&T 2.1/3.01).

The OBST graphical tools run under the X-Windows
system (currently X11R4, X11R5 and X11R6).
Installation has been tested for SunOS4.1.3 and LINUX only.

Best regards and happy OBST programming.

The OBST Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
README of OBST3-4
-----------------

Version: OBST3-4
Date: 11/4/94

The OBject system of STONE --- OBST
-----------------------------------

The persistent object management system OBST was developed by
Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI) as a contribution to the STONE
project (supported by grant no. ITS8902A7 from the BMFT, i.e. the
German Ministry for Research).

OBST was originally designed to serve as the common persistent
object store for the tools in software engineering environments.

Data Model
---------

The OBST data model can be characterized by the following properties:

* Schema definition language syntactically similar to C++
* Support of multiple inheritance
* Generic classes
* Abstract classes and methods
* Distinction between public, protected, and private methods
* Redefinition of methods
* Overloading of methods

Schemas and Containers
----------------------

Schemas are compiled by the OBST schema compiler. The compilation
results are instances of classes of the meta schema. From these
instances in a next step interfaces to different programming languages
can be generated. At present the C++ language binding is implemented.

Objects are stored in so-called containers. The container an object
belongs to is determined at the time of object creation and fixed
throughout the object's lifetime. Containers are the units of
clustering, synchronization, and recovery. Objects can be referenced
by other objects across container boundaries.

Incremental Loading
-------------------

OBST provides a mechanism to incrementally load methods. This enables
programs to deal with objects whose type is defined after the program
itself has been developed. This is useful in systems that provide for
inheritance and it supports schema evolution. We used it e.g. for
programs that interpret the object base and call methods of the
found objects (for example the below mentioned browser).

Prototype
---------

Since end 1990 the first prototype of OBST is available and is shipped
to interested universities and research institutions. The current
version is publicly available via FTP (see below) since March '92.
There is a mailing list (see below) with >>100 subscribers.

The system comes with the schema compiler, a library of predefined
classes (like Set<Entity>, List<Entity>, String, ...), a graphical
object browser (more a shell than a browser), a graphical schema
designer (USE), the structurer and flattener (STF), tclOBST,
and all manuals.
For USE, STF and tclOBST see below.

Schema Evolution Support Environment (USE)
------------------------------------------

This environment consists of a graphical schema designer built with
tclOBST (see below). It can be used to inspect existing class hierarchies
and to modify these hierarchies; it allows the addition of new classes
as well as the modification of existing ones.

Structurer and Flattener (STF)
------------------------------

This is a tool to build objects from bytestrings and flatten objects
down to bytestrings. It is intended to be used when coupling UNIX
tools to the object management system. The user defines a grammar that
describes her objects. Afterwards, the structurer parses an ascii
text according to the given grammar and creates an OBST object
structure that represents the corresponding parse tree.
The flattener does the inverse transformation, that means it generates
an ascii text from a given OBST object structure according to the given
grammar.

tclOBST
-------

tclOBST is a library which provides an embedding of OBST into the
interactive tool command language tcl, developed by John Ousterhout
at the University of Berkeley.
Based on the standard tcl shells, which are also comprised in the
tclOBST distribution, tclOBST offers interactive access to the complete
functionality modelled by OBST schemata.

System Requirements
-------------------

For the prototype's installation a C++ compiler
(GNU g++ 2.3.3/2.4.5/2.5.7 or AT&T 2.0/2.1/3.01) and the
X-Windows system (currently X11R4 or X11R5) for the graphical tools
are required.
Installation is well-tried on SUN Sparc stations and should be no
problem on other UNIX machines, too. You can find a more detailed
description of the supported platforms in the README.install.OBST*.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information please mail to:

Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI)
OBST Projekt
Haid-und-Neu-Strasse 10-14
D-76131 Karlsruhe
Germany

or email to: obst@fzi.de

Phone: ++49-721-9654-701
Fax: ++49-721-9654-709
Teletex: 721 190 fziKA

The OBST system is available via anonymous FTP from
ftp.fzi.de [141.21.4.3] and some mirror servers.

The system as well as some overview papers, documentation
(User's Guide, Language Reference Manual, Tutorial, ...),
and lots of manual pages can be found in the directory /pub/OBST.

There are mailing lists for announcing OBST enhancements,
new versions, porting hints, etc. as well as for exchanging experiences
with other OBST users.

Send a mail with content 'LONGINDEX' to obst-listserv@fzi.de to learn about
the mailing lists which are currently installed:
echo LONGINDEX | mail obst-listserv@fzi.de

The mailing lists are maintained by an automatic list processor.
Use 'HELP' to learn about the commands understood by this processor:
echo HELP | mail obst-listserv@fzi.de

Bug reports should contain a small example program with which the
bug can be reproduced, or at least a detailed description of the
observed phenomenon. They should also mention:
o OBST version
o configuration parameters for your OBST version
(from file config.status)
o kind and version of C++ compiler
o machine
o operating system

Besides bug reports we are strongly interested in all experiences
our users make with OBST (e.g. sufficiency of data model, performance,
...) and in our users' application areas and the applications as
well. So, please don't hesitate to send us a short note.

Best regards and happy OBST programming.

The OBST Team,

Boris Boesler, Dirk Eichberg, Frank Fock, Axel Freyberg,
Michael Gravenhorst, Ingolf Mertens, Michael Pergande, Christian Popp,
Bernhard Schiefer, Dietmar Theobald, Axel Uhl, Walter Zimmer

---

BTW "Obst" is the German word for "fruit",
so have a fruitful time with OBST!

 

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