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1 Introduction

Qddb is a database tool that provides a very fast and powerful graphical user interface as well as the programming interfaces Qtcl and the graphical Fx Toolkit. Qtcl provides the underlying database engine using the Tcl command language [1], while Fx provides the link between the user and the data. Although Fx is very simple for programmers, the screen layout/design process is somewhat cumbersome and monotonous.

After much experience designing applications with Fx, we decided that a higher-level interface for the screen layout was necessary to reduce the amount of time that a programmer spends designing screens and maintaining applications. A 30 attribute database might require a couple hundred lines of Fx code and several hours of a programmer's time to get it ``just right''. Most Fx screens are quite similar, so it seemed that we could design a very simple language (like HTML) that anyone could manipulate. Qddb Schemas can be designed so quickly, it is a real shame to force programmers to spend so much time designing the interface.

Herrin Software Development, Inc.