7.4. GNU SQL
The GNU project is the symbol of freedom to many in the computer industry. An official GNU product is guaranteed to be freely available with full permission to modify and change the source code. You can find GNU versions of most any utility found in the Unix environment -- including the editor (Emacs), shell (bash), and operating system kernel (Hurd). Until recently, one glaring omissions has been a database management system.
The Institute for System Programming at the Russian Academy of Science is working hard to change that. A couple of years ago, they released the first public beta of GNU SQL, a completely functional SQL RDBMS under the GNU Public License (GPL). A the time of this book's printing, GNU SQL is at version 0.7beta.
When GNU SQL was conceived, the SQL2 specification had not been finalized. Because of this, the initial releases of GNU SQL would provide only SQL89 functionality, with SQL2 features being added as they went.
GNU SQL currently supports many advanced features such as transactions, subselects, and cursors. Because this product is beta, we do not recommend it for production use. As it matures, however, it is certainly going to be worth looking at. You can find out more information on GNU SQL at http://www.ispras.ru/~kml/gss/index.html.
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