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What is the Clarion, and what is the clarion-utils package for?

Clarion is a database language (claimed to by 4GL - 4-th Generation Language) with an application designer, originally made for DOS platform. It is a commercial product, made by SoftVelocity. Their info in FAQ: Clarion is the result of an idea for a "better mousetrap" by Bruce Barrington, the original creator of the language. In the early 1980's he released Clarion which has grown into the feature rich business application development tool that we publish today.

Around 1990 Clarion 2 was present on the market, and many applications designed with it are still used today. The Clarion 2 used its proprietary file format for its data; since Clarion 3 support for other popular file formats (e.g. dBase) was added. The database had no "central engine" - rather, every workstation accessed the data files, using system services (lock - required SHARE to be loaded in DOS) to synchronize accesses.

The Clarion 2 had a windowed development tool, consisting of application designer, help windows designer, source editor (with features helping editing the Clarion programs, like language help and window designer - it was not necessary for simple applications, the application designer was enough), compiler, debugger, translator (it converted compiled code into OBJ-s which could be linked to produce an executable), and few other tools.

These utilities are for the Clarion 2 file formats. Most important file formats used by Clarion are the data files (each data file contains records of same size and structure, each records contains fields of different sizes and types); for search they have B-tree keys and indices (keys are modified when relevant data changes, indices are kept unchanged); for larger data needed for few records only they have memo files. These formats are documented: TB117 (TB = Technical Bulletin) describes data files (DAT extension), TB118 index and key files (Ixx, Kxx), TB121 memo files (MEM). Application developer uses application file (APP, and BAP for its backup) to store its information; it creates Clarion 'source' files (CLA), which can be compiled - this creates 'program' (PRO) and symbol (SYM) files - they can be used by Clarion debugger or runner, or translated to objects (OBJ) and linked into an executable. Clarion 2 also allows binary files (BIN) having special structure (documented in manual) to be integrated into application. Since Clarion 3 there is a possibility to link objects compiled by other language compilers with Clarion object into single executable.

This package contains utilities which can:

To find info about Clarion file formats you may look at Wotsit - click Spreadsheet/Database and download "CLARION", or search on net a phrase like "Clarion Technical Bulletin" or "format of Clarion data" - e.g. Google search for "format of Clarion data" returned: