I recently spoke with Ola SandstrÃ¶m from the Mardao project and the interview is below.
Rich: I’m speaking with Ola SandstrÃ¶m, and we’re going to talk about the Mardao project.
Could you tell us what this project is, how it works, how it fits together, and how people use this in the real world.
Ola: Mardao is a tool that helps the database developer get the data out of the database into the application or the website, depending on what the app is. Mardao generates the data access objects, so that the developer doesn’t have to worry much about SQL statements, or relations, and so on. And it also saves the developer a lot of time and effort writing boilerplate code.
R: How did you get started with this project? What kind of a problem were you trying to solve?
O: In the first place, we wanted something more effective than similar techniques such as Hibernate. I also had a colleague who had generated similar stuff, but taking a different approach. It was for a specific project that I created the more general tool.
R: Do you have a feel for how large your user community is?
O: I know how many downloads there have been, and I see how many downloads there are when we make each release. That varies between 50 and 100 downloads. Maybe the recurring usage is about ten or fifteen users. Hopefully the number of production systems is about the same.
It’s not a big community, but it is my first Open Source project, so I’m ok with that.
R: The developer community is just you? You’re the only person who works on this? Is that correct?
O: No, there is one more developer – a former colleague – who has focused on one of the implementing techniques. You can use Mardao either for Spring, or you can use in on top of JPA, or on Google App Engine. This former colleague of mine implemented the JPA port.
R: What do you have planned for future versions of the project?
O: The biggest thing right now is to support Android applications. There is a nice SQL Light database on each Android device. It’s a very good fit to generate code for those databases. I think we’ll have a next versions early next year.
I’ve been quite happy hosting at Sourceforge, because I think you get the necessary tools, such as the Wiki and the issue tracker and so on. I certainly would consider starting another project there.
R: If someone wanted to get involved in an Open Source project, and they have some Java skills and database skills, what sort of an opening might there be on your project for such a developer? Is there a need that you have that you might welcome another developer for?
O: They certainly would be very welcome to join and commit. I think that if the user base grows a little bit – if I get more feedback, there would certainly be more areas where we would need to improve and so on. I’m not sure right now what the next big thing to focus on, but I’m sure any developer would come up with ideas if they start using it.
R: Thank you very much.
O: Thank you. Bye.