links to this page:    
View this PageEdit this PageUploads to this PageHistory of this PageTop of the SwikiRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide
Last updated at 12:37 pm UTC on 16 January 2006
On Nov 10, 2003, at 9:49 AM, Mark A. Schwenk wrote:

> I've started using Tantalus in a couple of applications and am looking
> for more examples of doing inserts and updates with it. Are there any
> active users of it?

Not that I know of. Though I'm theoretically the maintainer, I've not touched it in about a year, and I don't expect to do any further development of it.

Tantalus grew out of a specific need I had while migrating a project from PHP to Smalltalk. The database schema was already well established and contained large amounts of valuable data. And finally it was using MyISAM tables in MySQL, so ACID transactions were not available.

Those requirements led to some interesting design choices in Tantalus, which worked out surprisingly well. Still, wrestling with that problem has convinced me that OO databases are the way to go. The mismatch between graphs of objects and relations between rows is deep enough that you I can't find a general mapping mechanism that doesn't put significant restraints on the object model, the database schema or both.

> I've tried accessing some of the links from the SqueakMap entry but find they are broken.

The other side to this story is that I no longer work at Whistler.com, and it seems that they aren't maintaining any of the Smalltalk work that I did. That's part of the reason I'm not working on Tantalus anymore - I don't need it now.

I can probably dig up the documentation and make it available on my new website, if anyone cares enough; and in any case, I can certainly answer questions and support anyone still using Tantalus.

My own recommendation would be to look into OODBs - GOODS, Magma or Omnibase. I like GOODS in particular, and have been trying to find some free time to try out Avi's new client for it. If you must or prefer to use a relational database, check out Avi's Roe package. It's basically the successor to Tantalus - it goes off in another direction based on problems we had writing and using Tantalus.

At this point, I'm content to call Tantalus an interesting experiment and leave it at that. But again, I'll gladly provide support to anyone that finds it useful.