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VBISAM history (was: vibsam patches & problems)

From: Simon Sobisch
Subject: VBISAM history (was: vibsam patches & problems)
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 20:05:31 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/68.8.0

Am 25.06.20 um 17:13 schrieb James K. Lowden:
> On Thu, 25 Jun 2020 04:47:30 -0400
> Brian Tiffin <> wrote:
>> On working on VBISAM.  I'm pretty sure you want Ron's updates, or, I
>> run the copy out of OSCONS in Japan, part of the OpenCOBOL 1.5J
>> release. The copy on SourceForge is behind a few patches, as far as
>> I'm led to believe.
> What's the story here?  GnuCOBOL is probably the most important user of
> vbisam.  Is no one interested in being the "maintainer of record" and
> keeping one repository up to date?  
> --jkl
The story is that Trevor was away for some time, Roger finished the work
he already started together with Trevor to create a version OpenCOBOL
would use. VBISAM 2.0, only provided by Roger as "final tarball" was the

When C*-IT forked OpenCOBOL they also did so with VBISAM and mainly did
some thread-related changes (that GnuCOBOL still don't need) and
"published" it as VBISAM 2.1.

Sergey and me did some portability updates in the meantime to 2.0
especially for Win32, Roger left us so there was his 2.0 and some
patches; more patches are to be found on the VBISAM discussion boards.

Trevor showed up again for some months and during this period provided
me with upload permissions and CVS write access, I've uploaded 2.0.

Repository-wise there was the original CVS and then nothing more (= just
a "jump" to 2.0).

OSSCONS forked OpenCOBOL for their own (local related) reasons and
included VBISAM, similar to C*IT because of the BDB license, but
"public" from the beginning and also did some updates.

Ron added many new features to the original VBISAM 2 (and later also to
C*-ITs 2.1) and still does this recently, always sending the changes to me.

The plan is to have 2020 not only the year of GnuCOBOL (many marvellous
things happen) but also of VBISAM with me switching the already
converted CVS->SVN repo (with inclusion of Roger's changes up to 2.0) to
git and publish it wherever I find a reasonable place (won't be GitHub,
likely also not Gitlab which was the plan beginning 2019).

This version as VBISAM 2.2 will have all of Ron's changes (including the
history) and a branch for the 2.1 line and also include the Win32
adjustments from Sergey + me and other patches I'm aware of, including
the one from OSSCONS.

I plan to start the work in September/October and end sometime this year.

After this is done and a 2.2 release is out we'll switch the default
indexed handler to be VBISAM and also provide a way to directly download
the prerequisite in the GnuCOBOL package.

If anyone on this list is interested to help in this process and
possibly also (co-)maintainer VBISAM: please drop me a note directly
(VBISAM itself is not something that is the primary focus of this list,
so I'd like to keep the messages on this topic low).


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