back to article Adobe throws weight behind SQLite

Adobe Systems has confirmed it will help sponsor the work of the SQLite database project, joining a new consortium alongside Mozilla and Symbian. SQLite, which is an embedded SQL database engine with core source code in the public domain, has been built into the firm's newly released Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) software. …


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  1. Rich


    Does anyone else spot the irony of a lean, sleek, fast and efficient software product (SQLite) being sponsored by a company (Adobe) that is responsible for producing some of the fattest, slowest, cruddiest software on the planet?

  2. Will Leamon


    You would prefer Microsoft?

  3. Neil


    Yes! Just look at Silverlight, XAML, WPF, etc.

  4. Rich

    @Will Leamon

    What kind of a question is that? It's like asking the manner in which you would like to be tortured! Just because MS produce lots of crud too, it doesn't let Adobe off the hook.

  5. Shell


    *shrug* Flash is amazingly small (just a few Mb) and includes a VM and HD codecs. AIR is also extremely lightweight (Flash 9 + WebKit + SQLLite). Adobe have learned some new things during their gobbling up of Macromedia.

    I'd disagree with Adobe products being "cruddy". PhotoShop is still the best image editing suite on the market, and pretty much bug free. Nothing compares to Illustrator as far as flexibility goes.

    The only problem I have with Adobe products is the terrible install process on Windows... but then that serves you right for using Windows (installs perfectly smoothly on Macs).

    While I'm not convinced with AIR yet, I think it's a great product. I'm just not sure people will bother downloading AIR apps (yet another runtime? no thanks). But anything that seamlessly bridges the desktop to the Internet is going to be exciting stuff (not least for people worried over security...?).

    I prefer this route anyway - I don't want to see Adobe stuffing this kind of technology inside the Flash player; it needs to be kept small and fast, and so far they are keeping to this.

  6. tardigrade

    @Rich - Funnily enough...

    I was thinking about Abode's bloat today. I've started using Max View for simple photo cropping and fixing and Foxit Reader for reading PDF's even though I have Acrobat Professional and Photoshop CS3.

    The reason is because they are too bloody slow to load up if your just doing some quick editing rather than a full creative session.

    As a company if my competitors started to release software with the sales pitch being that its faster and slimmer than my product I would start to worry.

    Adobe products are the best, but they are bloating horribly.

    As for SQLite it makes perfect sense for Adobe to concentrate on this with regards to AIR. SQLite db's a flat file so no DB install required locally.

  7. Evil Graham

    What about Acrobat then?

    I reckon that qualifies as "bloat" in anyone's book.

    It's not particularly reliable either, especially when it tries to show you a PDF inside your browser.

    On the plus side, it sure knows how to render a font nicely.

  8. E


    I disagree that Adobe specializes in bloatware. Speaking only as a user not a developer, only acroread has been questionable in some version around 6 or 7, and the successor versions addressed the bloat. The rest of the company's s/w neer struck me as bloated.

    I almost wish Flash *was* bloatware - I might have to deal with it less where an image map would be as functional and more compatible.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Photoshop certainly isn't bloatware

    Sure if you're just using it to crop photos it's overkill,

    but if you know how to use even 1/10th of it's functionallity

    you'll know it's an excellent piece of software.

    I've tried post of it's competitors but always come back to PS.

  10. Paul Coen

    Not too surprising

    Lightroom (hardly bloatware, it's actually pretty efficient) uses SQLite for its database. A bunch of the user interface is written in Lua, as well, and that's allowed for some unofficial modifications / extensions to be written as well (along with the official Lightroom Export SDK).

  11. Shell

    @ tardigrade

    That's because you are using the wrong tool for the job. If you just want to quickly edit an image, PhotoShop is not the tool. PhotoShop is a professional package - I never have to wait for it to start as it's an essential part of my work; it's open all the time.

    PhotoShop and the other CS3 products are not bloated considering just how astoundingly powerful they are. I use these products all the time, and while I don't think I'm a particularly inexperienced user, when I see a dedicated PhotoShop/Illustrator artist at work I'm left in awe. There's so much functionality, flexibility and interoperability between the CS3 products, I seriously doubt there's much fat that can be trimmed there under the hood.

    The one exception to Adobe's line up, of course, is the abysmal Acrobat reader. It takes forever to load, uses stacks of memory and is just UGLY. I use a Mac most of the time, so I dont understand why the reader exists at all - I can view any PDF just by hitting the spacebar in Finder. Who the heck wants to load that 20mb beast Acrobat!?

  12. tardigrade


    "That's because you are using the wrong tool for the job. If you just want to quickly edit an image, PhotoShop is not the tool. PhotoShop is a professional package - I never have to wait for it to start as it's an essential part of my work; it's open all the time."

    That's why I said, "..if your just doing some <strong>quick editing</strong> rather than a <strong>full creative session</strong>..."

    Years ago PhotoShop was "the" tool regardless of the job at hand. I've used PhotoShop day in day out since v4 and the CS versions are bloating from the v5 and v6 releases without the additional features to explain why this has happened. Just look at the difference in resource usage in Bridge between CS2 and CS3. Why?

    I also use Dreamweaver CS3 as it's an essential part of my work; and have it open all the time. I have used it since Macromedia introduced the very first version and their is no denying that it too has bloated. Although it is still by far the best web developer software out there bar none.

    Glad that you agree with me about Acrobat. If you use InDesign as well you will probably have the same feelings. What happened to the days when PageMaker was all that?

  13. Fazal Majid

    One reason why Acrobat is so bloated

    Is that it actually includes a full-blown MySQL (server) install, at least in Acrobat 8 Professional for OS X.

    That was the last straw for me. I uninstalled it and will use the much nicer Leopard or PDFPen.

    SQLite is used eveywhere: Google Gears uses it to provide offline persistence to web apps. Firefox 3 will use it for bookmark storage (and Firefox 2 periodically downloads a SQLite database of known phishing sites from Google). It is embedded in OS X's Core Data. Solaris 10 uses for its SMF services repository, i.e. if SQLite has a bug, Solaris won't boot, that shows how much Sun trusts it.

    There is a reason for its increasing ubiquity: for embedded uses where you would typically have used a variant of DBM or BerkeleyDB, SQLite is actually faster and uses less RAM despite providing a higher-level SQL API. The only areas where it is weak are concurrency (it works poorly with multithreaded apps, and the app must provide some form of serialization) and replication.

  14. JMcL

    @Paul Coen

    "Lightroom (hardly bloatware, it's actually pretty efficient) uses SQLite for its database"

    It's probably a bit of exaggeration to describe it as "efficient". It needed a beast of a machine spec to run at all when it was in beta stage, though it's probably been streamlined a bit since - I now have a decent machine to run it on anyway, as I had to upgrade to run it. I find the Lightroom DB searches very sluggish, though this is probably not SQLites fault.

    As a comparison, I previously used RawShooter from Pixmantec which Adobe swallowed and killed (hence my need to move to Lightroom). At the core, this did pretty much the same thing as Lightroom (metadata based image alterations applied on the fly), but did it faster and this on my ageing W2k desktop with 384Mb RAM (ok, ok, so I did need to upgrade anyway!)

    I'm not knocking Lightroom, I use it a lot, and am very happy with what it does for the most part, but I do think it's resource heavy in the same way as pretty much the rest of the Adobe stable.

  15. Jay Godse


    Adobe made a great move when they chose SQLite. It is a great database, and very compact. It also gives software designers a tremendous amount of programming power by using SQL. It will give programmers of AIR applications a lot of programming power. See some examples at

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