What is RIF?
RIF is a file indexing method for datasets that don't warrant a full-scale database system.
It will be part of newer REBOL runtime systems, including CORE and VIEW.
A simple fact: most data sets are small and fairly simple, but most database systems are large and complex.
Most lightweight REBOL applications keep track of customers, orders, messages, users, members, products, or vendors. For 95% of these cases, the dataset is less than a few thousand records. Very few lightweight datasets exceed a million records, let alone a billion.
Many REBOL apps needs a simple, built-in method to store such data records into files. Yes, you can do it with flat text files, but after a thousand or so records, it can be slow.
Although they can use database systems such as MySQL or SQLite, those systems must be installed, managed, updated, and maintained. Their file formats are complex, and debugging and recovery can be complicated.
RIF provides a lightweight alternative to text files and database systems.
Why use RIF?
- Very easy to use - a few minute to get going
- Small footprint - does not bloat REBOL, scripts, or data file
- Integrated with REBOL - always available
- Highly portable - works on all OS's
- Very fast - faster than a DBMS for most common usage
- Reasonable limits - 4 billion records, 64GB size