May 26, 2018

Tools and libraries to access human-editable, plain text databases

GNU Recutils is a set of tools and libraries to access human-editable, text-based databases called recfiles. The data is stored as a sequence of records, each record containing an arbitrary number of named fields.

Advanced capabilities usually found in other data storage systems are supported data types, data integrity keys, mandatory fields, etc as well as the ability of records to refer to other records sort of foreign keys. Despite its simplicity, recfiles can be used to store medium-sized databases.

Recfiles are human-readable, human-writable and still they are easy to parse and to manipulate automatically. Obviously they are not suitable for many tasks for example, it can be difficult to manage hierarchies in recfiles and performance is somewhat sacrificed in favor of readability, but they are quite handy to store small to medium simple databases.

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