Meadowlark: Sheffield based computer consultancy

Programming tools in use at Meadowlark


Love them or hate them, databases are an essential component in many computer applications. Database functionality allows a computer application to find information quickly, and store/modify that type of information. In order to provide these facilities, the programmer has various choices.

The programmer could use XML, or some proprietory database format with an associated Application Programmers Interface (API), or the user could adopt an embedded database tool like SQLite.

SQLite, is a tiny, but fast, open source, portable SQL database. It is free to use, and is of such high quality that it is used by a number of household names in the computer industry in hardware and software applications.

Macintosh uses SQLite in one of their media applications. Some virus checkers use SQLite to keep track of their signature files, various database applications use it as their default database engine.

We are intrigued by SQLite and tempted to use it where it is appropriate. Even concerns about application security are unjustified, as the database can be encrypted.

What you can expect from computer hardware in the future?

1. Smaller faster, cheaper, lighter computers for the desktop.  They will be no larger than a DVD drive.  They will be silent, and run free software, and much of this will be web based.  They will use solid state disks, and large quantities of cheap memory.

2. More powerful mobile phones will largely replace traditional PCs.  The screens of mobiles will occupy as much of the phone as physicallly possible.  "Soft buttons will have largely replaced mechanical buttons in top of the range phones.

3. Sophisticated screen display technology will be available that will allow us to use bigger computer monitors in smaller less likely workplaces.

4. Micro-factories: places of work no bigger than a loft extension, where budding entrepreneurs labour in their free time "printing" products with 3D printers and selling their wares by the internet.