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Packing Sets

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  • Packing Sets

    HI all,
    I know there a lot of threads regarding the packing of tables but my searches brought up very little about packing sets. I know that when packing a set you are actually packing each table within the set....but I recently had something strange happen and am wondering why.
    I have had quite a bit of problems with corruption and such, most likely due to a faulty motherboard(which will be replaced soon!). So I have regularly used packing and compacting to help keep things running smoothly.

    What happened is that after packing a set(3 tier..parent==child--grandchild) successfully I, for some reason, tried packing just the grandchild and it would not--error came up stating that the .ddd and .ddm files could not have their indices updated. I then tried the set packing and it completed successfully again. But all attempts at packing the single table failed.

    So if packing is supposed to update the indices of each table why did the set packing complete with no errors?? Is it possible that the set packing does not always update the indices? Or perhaps the error trap does not always work with sets?
    And, of course, I have no way now of replicating this situation as the problem has been fixed.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As a side note for whoever may find it useful this is what I tried from various messageboard suggestions on how to get the files packed and then what I actually had to do.
    Tried: Deleting all temporary files($...)
    Dropping the affected table and then readding it
    Restore from a backup(went back to weeks earlier!)

    None of the above worked for me this time. What I eventually did which did work was to manually copy the tables files from a recent zip file I had created a couple of days before and then paste them into my current database files. I would have thought that the backups would have fixed it(usually does!) but not this time. Am thinking I may just create a weekly zip file now as a "just in case" type backup now after this happened.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeC; 06-18-2006, 02:42 AM.
    Mike
    __________________________________________
    It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau
    __________________________________________




  • #2
    Mike:

    Compacting a database involves table, set and library operations, each separate from the other. A table pack removes deleted records from the table which, in turn, triggers a re-index of the table.

    During a compact the data dictionaries of tables, sets and libraries are also "packed" via a dictionary.update() operation. This is similar to, but has a slightly different function from, the table pack operation. The data dictionaries (ddd,ddm,ddx, set,sem,sex and alb,alm,alx) are themselves dbf-type structures (though renamed) with records and an index (the "x" file). Each time you edit and save a form layout, for example, which objects are stored in the data dictionary, the old layout is marked as deleted but remains in the data dictionary file. Hence the increasing size of data dictionary files during development. The dictionary update removes those old records permanently.

    What you describe sounds like a corruption of the child table. Although the child is part of the set, nothing you do to the set files (either in a compact or a dictionary update) has any effect on the table. The set files just contain the information about the set linking and contain layouts based on that information. The component tables of the set are completely independent and must be able to stand alone whether or not they have been included as part of a set structure. The error you describe suggests that the table data dictionary was corrupted and possibly that the data dictionary index file (the ddx file) was missing.
    Finian

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the Compacting information Finian. I had read a few other threads regarding this but yours was nice and concise. And is good that this information is now included in this thread as well. What I had a problem with though was regarding the "Packing" of tables, in which I would not get an error when done via the set, but would when done on the grandchild table. And yes, I do believe that the .ddd and .ddm files were corrupt....but why wasn't the error generated when packing the set? I guess my main point is that if an error sometimes does not show up when packing a set(which is convienent), I will from now on spend the time to pack the individual tables so that if something is corrupt I find it sooner, rather than later.

      Mike
      Mike
      __________________________________________
      It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
      It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
      Henry David Thoreau
      __________________________________________



      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeC
        Thanks for the Compacting information Finian. I had read a few other threads regarding this but yours was nice and concise. And is good that this information is now included in this thread as well. What I had a problem with though was regarding the "Packing" of tables, in which I would not get an error when done via the set, but would when done on the grandchild table. And yes, I do believe that the .ddd and .ddm files were corrupt....but why wasn't the error generated when packing the set? I guess my main point is that if an error sometimes does not show up when packing a set(which is convienent), I will from now on spend the time to pack the individual tables so that if something is corrupt I find it sooner, rather than later.

        Mike
        I believe that Finian pointed out that packing a set does not pack each individual table in the set. Packing a set affects the set definition files (and I believe the parent table of the set) but not any of the child tables.
        There can be only one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Stan (and Finian) for clearing this up.
          All other threads mentioning packing did not state this directly concerning packing a set--all had simply made the point that when doing things in a set you are actually just taking actions for each table. As a result I incorrectly assumed that by packing a set it meant that you were actually packing each individual table... hey, it made sense to me!! :-)

          Mike
          Mike
          __________________________________________
          It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
          It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
          Henry David Thoreau
          __________________________________________



          Comment

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