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reading databases using a customized virtual file-system
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reading databases using a customized virtual file-system

(1) By anonymous on 2021-09-10 07:34:40 [link]

Hi,

I have sqlite databases stored in something similar to a customized virtual file-system.
I want to extend sqlite.c to add support for this vfs. I did start browsing in the code, and I have some idea where to start, but any guides and tips will be very helpful and much appreciated.

I do not need any write functions though, I only wish to read databases without altering them. 

Thanks

(2) By Larry Brasfield (larrybr) on 2021-09-10 10:13:16 in reply to 1 [link]

Start at https://sqlite.org <br>
Click "Documentation" on menu bar.<br>
Click "Website Keyword Index".<br>
Look for and click "VFS" by itself toward the end.<br>
Study the doc, especially under "VFS Implementations".

Question are welcome about issues not made clear in the docs or not easily discoverable there.

(3) By ddevienne on 2021-09-10 12:01:08 in reply to 2 [link]

Accessing DBs using a custom VFS is one thing, but the CLI itself is not  
using any VFS, but direct C/Posix APIs to access files. I've long wished  
for the CLI to also use a few abstractions to be usable embedded in a larger  
application, that would provide IO, main-entry-point, etc... Oh well :)

(4.1) By Larry Brasfield (larrybr) on 2021-09-10 12:18:34 edited from 4.0 in reply to 3 [link]

Would you please briefly elaborate? (just the gist, not a specification)

And, for sake of thread-hijack avoidance, start another for your idea?

(5.1) By ddevienne on 2021-09-10 14:45:02 edited from 5.0 in reply to 4.1 [link]

Sure. Two main use-cases to start with.

**First**, embed the SQLite CLI in an existing CLI app, w/o needed source modification.  
The *host* CLI app is multi-command (like SVN, GIT, etc...), and uses SQLite databases  
already. I'd like to add a *`sql`* or *`sqlite`* command, which embeds the full CLI, so I need  
a non-*`main()`* entry-point (e.g. `sqlite3_cli_main(argc, argv)`), and not have that CLI  
command ever exit(), but simply return from the entry point.

Note that the CLI has other non-SQLite interactive modes, which can *stack*, I could  
enter the SQLite CLI from another interactive-mode, and `.exit` in the SQLite CLI should  
just go back to the previous mode. The prompt changes back to that previous mode's one.

Also, the host CLI already uses *linenoise* for CLI-formatting/coloring, so integration would be nice-to-have.  

And the CLI has custom SQLite functions and vtable modules it might want to pre-register with the SQLite CLI.  
So a pure *main()-like* entry-point is not ideal, in terms of flexibility.

That host CLI is a single-exe, kitchen-sink style, no need for an installer. SQLite or Fossile style :)  
Update: And of course, SQLite (the library) is already linked into that CLI app.

**Second**, embed the SQLite CLI in a GUI app, opening in a custom dialog and not a console,  
thus not using stdin/stdout/stderr, but having the possibility to have those streams provided by the *host* application.

Here again, calling `exit()` is a no-no, and also needs a non-main() entry-point, like the CLI use-case above.  
In this mode, the CLI is meant to use an existing in-memory connection, with lots of virtual tables in it.  
SQLite is at the heart of the app, exposing a lot of the state of this large scientific (proprietary) application,  
and having the power of the full SQLite CLI app would be great, to troubleshoot/debug that state.

I think the CLI use-case is easily achievable with a few tweaks.

The second is more difficult, and might need the CLI using a VFS to abstract away the IO streams,  
or something of that nature. In that GUI-app use-case, being able to add a `.mode` to present the  
table-data in a *native GUI-table-widget* would be even better, but that's a different matter and a bit of a stretch goal.

So here you go, this is what I had in mind. FWIW. --DD

(6) By David Jones (vman59) on 2021-09-10 13:43:59 in reply to 1 [link]

I use the undocumented SQLITE_EXTRA_INIT hack to make SQLite's OS initialization install a custom VFS and make it the default VFS.

(7) By ddevienne on 2021-09-10 14:46:10 in reply to 6 [link]

Thanks. Good to know. Takes care of registering stuff then.  
But falls short on the other objectives though.

(8) By Larry Brasfield (larrybr) on 2021-09-12 02:37:31 in reply to 5.1

Please see new thread titled "<u>[Wishing CLI could be usefully embedded](https://sqlite.org/forum/forumpost/2d198e2ddf)</u>".