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NEW *BETA* release RIPE database: ripe-dbase-1.1beta.tar.gz

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  • From: RIPE Database Manager < >
  • Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 14:29:40 +0100

Dear all,

This message is to announce the new *beta* version of the RIPE database.
Most interesting new features are:

- the new release supports nearly real time mirroring of the RIPE database

- BSD DB dbm package is fully supported

- Network updates, a method for directly updating objects by use 
  of 'whois -U'. The use of this method is restricted by use of an
  accesslist and intended for the people that maintain a database.
- new database help file

and many more small changes and fixes. Please read the release notes at
the bottom of this message for more information and discussion about
these topics.

Since the number of changes is quite large (core routines like 'enread'
have been rewritten), we decided to bring out a beta version first.
Please don't use this software (yet) for your core activities, we don't
either ;-),

The software is available from:

Please send bug reports/fixes directly to ripe-dbm@localhost and I will
fix the problem,

Kind regards,

David Kessens
RIPE NCC database software maintainer



This is a *BETA* version of the RIPE database. Please only use this
version of the software for test purposes.


- Nearly real time mirroring support:
  What is it:
  The database software now keeps serial numbers of all updates. If you
  have been added to an accesslist, it it possible to retrieve all the
  changes to the database. A program 'backupupd' has been added to the
  distribution that can retrieve these changes and update your mirror
  database automatically. This program is intended to be put in a
  The whois erver has an access list so you first need to ask the site
  to be mirrored to add your host to the access list.

  Please let me now ripe-dbm@localhost if you are interested in testing
  this feature, and I will add your test site to the access list.
  Short discussion:
  Note that this is the first version, it currently uses seperate files
  internally for every update. I plan to change this since this is not
  really what we want with 2000 (atomic) updates on some days. 
  Furthermore, we use currently an ever increasing integer serial number,
  I personnally think that it is better to use another format and store
  the information in a special not visible (only with a whois option)
  stored: (NEW|UPD) DATE TIME TIMEZONE serialnumber
  NEW|ADD  - is this an older object ?!? or new...
             We probably also want an optional attribute 'replaced:'
             that points to the previous version of the 
             object when the object was an UPD(date).
  DATE     - YYYYMMDD date of storing including the leading 19 or 20
  TIME     - time in HH:MM.SS
  TIMEZONE - ?!?
  SERIAL   - serial number to avoid updates with same time & date
  Of course this is open to discusssion, it is just one of the

- BSD berkeley DB support:

  The database software can now use the Berkeley DB dbm package.
  According to many people this package is superior to most other dbm
  packages that perl can use (unlimited size of keys/values, platform
  independent db files). We have put the current sources for this
  package at

  It should be possible with the BSD DB package to increase the
  OVERFLOWSIZE and as result get rid of (most) of the classless overflow
  files, however, this caused indexing problems on my BSDI test machine,
  but you might want to give it a try on other systems.

- Problems with finding persons that have a very common first and last
  name (the problem we recently discussed on the 'db-wg' mail list can 
  nearly disappear when:
  When you use dbm packages (e.g. BSD DB) that support much
  larger/unlimited size keys and values you can easily increase the
  MAXHITS config variable and the troubles that were recently discussed
  on the mailing list with persons having a very common first and last
  name will happen much less often.
- a new help and HOWTO use the RIPE database file is available
  use 'whois -h HELP' to get the most recent version.
  The document gives a short introduction on the database, tells you how
  to create/update/delete objects, contains a section with tips and common
  problems and gives pointers to other documentation about the database.
- Recent indexing problems and changes to 'netdbm'
  We recently experienced severe problems with the classless indexing of
  the RIPE database. Indexing just didn't work anymore due to index files
  that grew too large. This only happened when people used the '-p'
  option. Also no problems were reported when the BSD DB package was
  - Disabled the '-p' option because of the recent indexing problems we
    saw, professionals will be able to enable it by changing one line of
  - BSD DB dbm package is now fully supported.
  Important change:
  -c makes now a normal index as well as a classless index
- BSDI/perl memory leak problems

  Due to a memory leak with perl on BSDI machines we needed to make the
  code more memory conscious. has been rewritten completely and
  uses now less memory and as an (intended) side effect became faster when
  reading big objects.

- Most patches (for greater speed and less memory consumption) that I
  received from Curtis Villamizar curtis@localhost have been included.
  Thanks Curtis!
- The direct network updating method is now fully supported.

  Currently this method is only intended for use by the registry itself,
  however it is possible to add support in the maintainer objects.
  You can now do you updates very rapidly by giving the command 'whois -U'
  and to input your object via STDIN. Of course, this is also protected
  with an access list.

- The special magic to overrule the maintainer protection needs a
  password now. Syntax will be published after the main registries
  support this...

- dbupdate -T
  Makes it very easy to install your own test database. The only
  difference with a normal update is that it doesn't need manual
  authorization for maintainer objects and that it will add a warning to
  your object that this is not the normal behavior...

- status: attribute as described in ripe-127 fully supported

- syntax check for email/domainnames/phonenumbers made stronger

- perl5 patches. perl 5 is not supported yet. However, the biggest
  problems should be gone now. Most interesting problem was in the
  quad2int routine. Perl5 changed unsigned (IP numbers) int's to signed
  int's while we relied on having positive IP numbers.

- Tony Bates <Tony.Bates@localhost recent patch for a problem with the
  maintainer notifications. Thanks you Tony. 

- many small fixes and clean up of the code to make above changes

- and yes the rumours that Daniel heard about a RIPE database running on
  a Linux machine (486-100, 12 Mb RAM, 6 hours indexing) are true ;-)   
  So what are the OS's that we know that work with the RIPE database:
  - BSDI
  - Linux
  And that don't work:
  - Solaris
  (Please inform me with you own results so that I can update this list!)
What didn't make it in this release:

- Hierarchical authorization
  (we will first make a proposal on the database working group)
- The auto nic handle generation support
  I have patches received from Gabor Kiss, but my part of the job is not
  ready yet.
- Rewrite of the 'read a new object from a mail message' routine.
  This routine has memory size/speed problems with big objects.

- Rewrite of some of the conversion routines between classless and
  classfull notation. There are known problems with these routines and
  missing parts: not all input routines as specified in ripe-121 are

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