Introduction to Gaby


As you know (?) Miguel (together with Arturo) decided to replace
GnomeCard with Gaby.

I'm the author of Gaby (together with Ron Bessems who's focusing on
the description file builder (more later)).

Gaby is _not_ an addressbook; the README file says :
> Gaby is a _small_ personal databases manager for Linux using GTK+
> and Gnome (if available) for its GUI.
> It was designed to provide straight-forward access to databases a 'normal'
> user would like (addresses, books, ...) while keeping the ability to easily
> create databases for other needs. On a technical side it was designed with
> extensibility in mind and thus use relies a lot on plug-ins.

This means that gaby is _not_ an addressbook and you shouldn't treat
it as if it was one. (I did so much to escape the addressbook country
that I'm really touchy about that :) ).

In fact I could talk about new paradigms and things like that but I
won't (there are enough paradigms in the linux world). So I'll talk
about the idea behind Gaby.

If you look to the databases apps you'll see two kind of apps :
 - small apps for particular purposes (addresses, cds, videos, ...)
 - huge apps (sql servers, ...)
and nothing else. Hence Gaby that replace the first kind since (1a) it
is user-friendly (I don't like this word but there's nothing else) and
(1b) can be extended for particular purposes (think to the 'mail to'
option in most addressbooks) and (2) it is not limited to a single sort
of database.

(1a) is achieved with hiding lots of things to the real user (ie it
launches gaby and gets an addressbook, gcd and it's a database for cd,
...). gcd is a symlink to gaby but the user doesn't know that.

(1b) and (2) are achieved using description files (now desc files).
They are the files that defines simple things like the name and types
of the fields but also more complex ones like the 'actions' available
(the 'mail to' I already talked about). To get an idea desc.gaby (the
desc file that defines the addressbook) is now 188 lines long; most of
these lines being translations (since getopt is not available for
them). Desc files may be created using vi (it should work with emacs
too:) ) or with the wonderful desc file builder Ron created.

Well I think you got the picture (if you prefer screenshots look at (English is not my mother tongue so it's
certainly not funny).

Let's now talk about the future.

On 26 May 1999, Miguel wrote to me :
> We want to extend it a bit to include CORBA support (so that the mail
> program can integrate with it, and the calendar program).
I don't have experience with corba so I looked at GnomeCard to learn a
few things, I added gnome-pim.idl (and others) to Gaby as part of an
'action' that should provide the needed services. I know that I have
to fill gnomepim-impl.c but didn't do it. (an action is something like
our now traditional 'mail to', gnome-pim is defined like that :
		event = startup

There are other arrays where corba could be used. I thought about
adding a GNOME::Table interface when I read Miguel's paper about
Gnumeric and (just an idea) the view plug-ins (plug-ins that defines
ways to view datas (lists, forms, canvas, ...)) could be moved to
bonobo objects (this one is really just an idea, I'm not even sure it
would be a good thing).

Voila. Feel free to answer with any comments and ideas you find


Frederic Peters <>  « Le travail a été ce que l'homme
Debian GNU/Linux :     a trouvé de mieux pour ne rien
Gaby:              faire de sa vie. »  R. Vaneigem

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