Announcing CompatDB.org 1.0
Posted on: 02/08/2007 06:40 PM

I announced 16 months ago the first phase of a transformation to turn both NT Compatible and Linux Compatible user submitted compatibility lists into a free (as in the freedom) compatibility database. All submissions since them are licensed under the terms of the free GNU Lesser General Public License that allows the use of that data in both open source and commercial products/services for free. The launch of Mac OS Compatible last month was the last piece that was necessary for the project that I announce today, which is called the CompatDB.org project.

What is the CompatDB.org project?

CompatDB.org is a free hardware/software compatibility database for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, based on the LGPL'd compatibility data from NT Compatible, Linux Compatible, and Mac OS Compatible, but is far more that just a downloadable version of the compatibility lists.

The CompatDB.org project is an attempt to create a free open source licensed standard for user submitted compatibility lists as well free compatibility lists. All 3 compatibility lists are distributed in the CompatDB.org XML based document format, which can be easily parsed from any modern programming language. Basically, it is possible to enhance any website or program with CompatDB.org based compatibility lists, but there is more.

The CompatDB.org website has an API to allow submissions to the database from any website. The appearance of the submission form can be changed to fit the colors of the website that call the API. There is a full documentation of the API and a few examples in PHP in the FAQ section of the CompatDB.org website.

The compatibility lists itself are currently released on a daily basis and can be obtained from any CompatDB.org mirror. Special thanks goes to Jim McMahon of MajorGeeks.Com for providing a master mirror server. MajorGeeks.Com is also the first website that have actually implemented the CompatDB.org standard.

The CompatDB.org project is not perfect but I think it is a first step in the right direction. The ground idea behind CompatDB.org is creating a global compatibility database that makes it easier for users to search whether hardware or software is compatible.

If you have suggestions and comments please discus it in the suggestion forum. I am planning to release frequently updates to the CompatDB.org specifications.


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