Glom Beta 1

I’ve been squashing lots of bugs, as ever, and I think Glom is nearly 1.0 material, so I’m calling 0.9.8 “Beta 1” and hoping that it gets some more testing. Realistically, only people using Ubuntu Dapper will be able to test it easily, thanks to Daniel Holbach.

There’s lots of post-1.0 features that need to be done, and it’s easy to start convincing myself that they are essential, but it’s also important to get some set of functionality into a stable usable form. And the reality is that the Glom 1.0 features are actually quite substantial. There’s nothing even remotely like this in free/open-source software or Linux at the moment, and it’s a deal-breaker for a significant group of users.

Glom screenshot

For now, It still lacks some features that (closed-source, non-Linux) FileMaker Pro has, but it also make several things easier and has that Postgres magic to win over hardcore sysadmins. So, if FileMaker ever get around to doing a Linux port, Glom would probably still be a winner.

Just to get this far has been an immense amount of work for me. I’ve taken months off paying-work about 3 times now to push it along, risking financial collapse each time. I actually started it five years ago, but development accelerated when I decided not to waste time making it impossibly generic and über-adaptable. To get an idea of how important this has been to me: This is the reason that I started working on gtkmm, libsigc++, bakery, libxml++, libgnome*mm, and libgdamm (taking over maintainership in some cases, starting them in others), because I just couldn’t imagine producing a full-featured app without (real) C++, because that’s what I do. Yes, gtkmm is, in a way, just a side-effect of Glom for me. You’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.

19 thoughts on “Glom Beta 1

  1. Looks great, really really great. I’ve been waiting a long time for a free FileMaker-like app, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Er, “Glom” isn’t the final name though, is it? Sounds like a cross between “glum” and “gloom”.

  2. John, are you the same person who has made that same comment in 4 other online forums? Or do 4 people actually think this is the most important detail. Feel free to suggest another name. It’s needs to be recognisable, googleable, and the domain must exist. I’d be happy to do a Firefox-style rebranding.

  3. Seems we got ourselves a really nice app here! Still I won’t be able to try it for another month or so ’cause of some Hw mailfunction in my linux box.

    So you’ll either have to speed that windows porting which is flagged for post 1.0 production, or I’ll have to wait a bit more.

    Keep it up mate, oh and the Python interface smells like a winner.

  4. Thank you for this! About a year back, I had a need to track my budget. I checked out a couple of canned money and budget apps for linux and win32 and none really had the functionality I wanted, so I cobbled together something in Access in an hour. It has since become indispensible to me and has, in the process, tied me back to win32. I’ve yet to find a real simple RAD database tool for Linux, and while 1.0 of Glom probably still won’t fit all of my needs, it’ll be very close. Looking forward to it!

  5. It seems like tying this to Postgres is a limitation? Why does this not use libgda?

  6. > It seems like tying this to Postgres is a limitation?

    Only for people who care. They shouldn’t. If they do, they should pay me to do the work to support something else.

    > Why does this not use libgda?

    It does, but there’s more to supporting multiple servers than that. Feel free to do the work, or pay me to do it.

  7. The question is how a c++ programmer like you ended up in gnome instead of KDE, any other c++ programmer would have chosen KDE to make his app I think, also thanks to gtkmm we have now a great app like gparted.

  8. > Any plans to incorporate Glom into gnome-office (make it easy to share data with gnumeric, abiword, etc.)?

    Not particularly. Got some examples? I suppose we could have:
    1. Import into Gnumeric directly from a Glom database by importing from a Glom file (with a dialog in the middle). But if you need to do that often then I’d like Glom to take care of your needs without using Gnumeric.
    2. Draw charts of data, using Gnumeric’s code, which I think is in a library.
    3. Have richt-text in fields, using Abiword, by sharing code somehow. But I’m hesitant to encourage the use of a database as a filesystem.

    I would like to propose Glom for the future GNOME Productivity release set some time.

  9. Trying it out on ubuntu/dapper… the postgresql dependency is foiling me. I can’t get past the “Connect to Server” dialog. I do have a number of postgresql packages installed, but I can’t figure out how to get the database setup. The Help button on the dialog only causes glom to die.

    I checked the /usr/share/doc/glom directory, but there doesn’t seem to be any information on how to set up the database.

    I’ve set up a bunch of mysql databases, but I can’t seem to find my way in to postgresql. Any pointers? I’d really like to give this a try and pass it on to my friends (that have even less DB admin skills than I).


  10. Murray, glad to see Glom headed toward 1.0. You comments about being obsesed with the project and wasting time making it “über-adaptable” really hit home with me. I recently installed Ubuntu dapper and got to try 0.9.4 and was impressed.

    When will Glom settle down enough that I don’t have to be running a CVS copy of Gnome to compile Glom? I’m highly interested in helping and I’m not a newbie developer, but I can’t get past the very high dev box requirements.

  11. Mike, see the post-install page, linked from the download page.

    Greg, you don’t need a CVS copy of GNOME, but you do need to install some extra dependencies such as libgda, bakery, and libgdamm, some of which are not widely available in distributions. That should be easy for you, but it’s difficult for non-hackers. jhbuild also makes it easy for hackers.

    Glom could be in Ubuntu Breezy right now, but it’s just that people are working on Dapper, so it’s only there.

  12. Hi Murray, I think I made a similar comment on that Gnomefiles site a year or so ago. Sorry if I offended you, it certainly wasn’t my intention and you’re definitely right in that the name is entirely insignificant when contrasted with the actual application.

  13. Thanks Murray. Could the URL of the Initial Postgres Configuration page be put in glom’s README?

  14. Hy Murray, first i need to tell you how much i apreciate your work, a lot. i’m traying to build glom in the fedora core 5 distribution, im almost shure to complain all the dependecies, but when im configure i get this error:

    checking for GLOM… configure: error: Package requirements (bakery-2.4 >= 2.3.18 gtkmm-2.4 >= 2.6.1 gthread-2.0 gnome-vfsmm-2.6 >= 2.11.1 libgnomecanvasmm-2.6 >= 2.10.0 libxslt >= 1.1.10 pygda-1.2 pygtk-2.0 >= 2.6.0 libgnome-2.0 >= 2.6.0 iso-codes libgdamm-2.0 >= 1.3.7 ) were not met.

    of all listed requierements only does’nt are gthread that wasnt in the repos i’ll try to download and install from elsewhere but if you can tell anymore about this error you will make a favor, thanks in advantage.

    PS: Sorry about my bad english.


  15. GnoKix, gthread is part of glib. I’m sure that you have it. You can check with a manual pkg-config line, like so:
    pkg-config gthread-2.0 –modversion

    I guess that you are really missing either pygda-1.2 or libgdamm-2.0, but you can use the same techique to check for them.

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