[mapserver-users] how to access dbf files?

Joe Bussell joe at otsys.com
Tue Aug 20 13:44:23 EDT 2002

The beauty of software is that there is seldom a 'right' way to do a
thing.  It is the case the mapserver is not 'orthogonal'.  It does allow
multiple accesses to the same functionality.  This may be distracting to
purists.  Take heart however.  I suggest that you take your favorate
tool set, whether that be PERL or PHP and learn its specifics.  Focus on
your own goals and try it out in code.  It usually is a short path from
there to enlightenment.  Then you may profess your own flavor of 'right'


Joe Bussell
On Time Systems

PS: The comments and opinions in this email reflect my own delusions.
    As near as I can tell no one else sees the world quite as I do.

On Tue, Aug 20, 2002 at 05:00:21PM +0200, Michael Schulz wrote:
> Hello,
> could somebody give me a hint on what would be to "right" way to access
> attribute information from a dbf file using mapscript.
> I am a little bit confused since there seem to be variuos ways to do so.
> php/mapscript obviously uses its own dbf functionality, perl/mapscript
> uses sometimes the xbase module but also the DBFInfo object that can be
> accessed directly from mapscript. For python/mapscript i rewrote the
> perl/mapscript sample shpinfo.pl to a shpinfo.py using msDBF...
> functions and the DBFInfo object.  But i experienced pretty often that
> these functions were rather unstable (lot of segfaults when doing
> writes). Then i switched to the dbf functions that come with the
> pyshapelib.
> Is this confusion real and are there changes to this subject going on,
> or is there no "normal" mapscript way to do so and each language
> adresses this issue differently?
> TIA, Michael
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Michael Schulz                                in medias res
> Dipl.-Geologe                              Gesellschaft für
>                                 Informationstechnologie mbH
>                              Sautierstr. 38, 79104 Freiburg
>                                      0761 55695-95 (Fax 96)
> mschulz at webgis.de                             www.webgis.de

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