Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the fate of SQLitePersistentObjects…

I wrote SQLitePersistentObjects specifically to address the fact that Apple didn't port Core Data to the iPhone SDK. Today, one of the more subtle points of the iPhone OS 3.0 presentation, never mentioned and missed by most people (but shown clearly on one slide), is that Core Data has been ported to the iPhone in the 3.0 sdk. I confirmed with two different people inside Apple that the slide was accurate. We now have Core Data in the house.

That leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. SQLitePersistentObjects has taken on a bit of a life of its own. It's being used in a number of production applications, and in several more that are under development. There is a fairly large team of people contributing to the project. And, frankly, there are aspects of SQLPO that I like better than Core Data. But, I make no bones about it: Core Data is better. It's been around longer, been tested more, and has been worked on by some really, really smart people at Apple. I would put money on it being faster than SQLPO in most scenarios. I think SQLPO scores points on development time, at least for simpler projects, but not by much - not by enough.

So, I'm giving very serious thought to discontinuing my own work on SQLitePersistentObjects. I very much like it and, in some ways, like it better than Core Data. But, SQLPO was written to fulfill a need, and that need has just been filled by Apple. I'm just not sure it's worth my time to continue active development on SQLPO. Time is a finite commodity, and one of which I rarely have enough. This is not a decision I've made lightly. I'm really quite proud of SQLitePersistentObjects and think it has a lot of potential. But, there's only one of me.

If there's anyone who's interested in continuing development on SQLPO, by all means, let me know. I'll make you owner of the project over on Google Code and will stay on the dev team to answer questions and do some bug fixing. Otherwise, for the foreseeable future, my work on SQLPO is going to be limited to bugs that are impacting products I've already developed with it.

On a different, but related note: I'm installing the iPhone 3.0 SDK on my machine as we speak. However, since this is a pre-release SDK, that means were back to being under NDA, so I won't be doing any posts on 3.0 functionality until the summertime when the 3.0 OS gets released to the general public.



9 comments:

nst021 said...

Thank you very much for your work on SQPO. I also think you can now spend your precious time on new projects.

PJ Cabrera said...

I'm using SQLPO for two of my apps currently in development, and probably for the foreseeable future since I don't know Core Data yet. :-)

I wish I could take over project ownership, but your knowledge of Obj-C supersedes mine, Master YodaMarche.

Steilpass said...

Hey Jeff. Thanks a lot for your work on SQLPO.
I understand your reasons for discontinuing. Keep in mind that your work wasn't useless. It saved me a lot of time and I will soon ship my first version. Thanks to SQLPO.

anonymouse said...

Jeff,

SQLPO still has use for 2.x apps which I think will be around (on iPods) for the forseeable future.

That said, we're currently considering what to do about those iPod owners and I suspect we'll go the 3.0 only route with CoreData.

r

Jeff LaMarche said...

anonymouse:

I'm not going to kill the project, I'm just not doing any new development on it. I have projects myself that use it, and I'm not going to convert those to Core Data.

But I can't justify spending time on a technology that won't be needed going forward.

Jeff

anonymouse said...

> But I can't justify spending time on a technology that won't be needed going forward.

I think that's a fair view.

Vlasic, Specht said...

First, thank you Jeff for creating this library, it has helped me get into iPhone programming. I hope you have learned and profited from both the architectural and developmental experience this project provided.

I don't think this is a calamitous as it sounds. The SQLPO code is reasonably robust as it is. It has an escape hatch to write complex SQL queries against the tables. I think you can stick with SQLPO until probably late summer when a significant numberof the 3G community will have switched over. The first gen iPhone community, because there will be a switching fee, may not move at all quickly. There is a place for SQLPO for probably a full year to come.

That said, Jeff is right. We should all plan to move to Core Data. But we get to choose when. If SQLPO is good enough for us now, it will be good enough later.

Andrew

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