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WFDB 10.0

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Changes in version 10.0.1 (19 November 1999)

Beginning with version 10.0.1, the WFDB library supports reading not only local files, but also remote files made available by web (HTTP) or FTP servers. To make use of this feature, link your application with both the WFDB library and the libwww library (freely available for all versions of Unix, and for most recent versions of MS Windows, from http://www.w3.org/Library, or from http://www.physionet.org/physiotools/libwww/). (In some cases, notably under GNU/Linux, libwww is linked together with the dynamically-loaded version of the WFDB library, so that you do not need to link libwww explicitly.) All access to remote files is read-only. If you do not wish to allow access to remote files, or if libwww is not available for your OS, simply do not define the symbol NETFILES when compiling the WFDB library. For further details, see ‘wfdbio.c’ in the WFDB library sources.

The WFDB environment variable may now contain whitespace (space, tab, or newline characters) as path component separators under any OS. Multiple consecutive whitespace characters are treated as a single path component separator. Use a ‘.’ to specify the current directory as a path component when using whitespace as a path component separator. A semicolon (‘;’) is also acceptable as a path component separator under any OS. A colon (‘:’) is still acceptable as a path component separator under Unix (Linux, etc.), provided only that the colon is not immediately followed by ‘//’.

If the WFDB path includes components of the forms ‘http://somewhere.net/mydata’ or ‘ftp://somewhere.else/yourdata’, the sequence ‘://’ is explicitly recognized as part of a URL prefix (under any OS), and the ‘:’ and ‘/’ characters within the ‘://’ are not interpreted further. Note that the MS-DOS ‘\’ is not acceptable as an alternative to ‘/’ in a URL prefix. To make WFDB paths containing URL prefixes more easily (human) readable, use whitespace for path component separators.

Previous versions of the WFDB library that were compiled for environments other than MS-DOS used file names in the format type.record. This file name format is no longer supported.

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Changes in version 10.0.0 (25 June 1999)

Beginning with version 10.0.0, the name of the library is WFDB. All earlier versions were named DB. All library symbols have been similarly renamed, with WFDB and wfdb replacing DB and db everywhere, in names of library functions, constants, type and structure definitions, library source file names, and names of environment variables (e.g., the DB environment variable is now the WFDB environment variable).

Version 10.0.0 of the WFDB library is functionally identical with the final release (version 9.7.4) of the DB library, except for the name changes. It should be possible to recompile existing applications written for DB library version 9.x without modification, and to link them with WFDB library version 10.0.0. This is possible because two sets of #include files are provided with the WFDB library. The first set, accessible via #include <wfdb/...>, works with applications written as described in this guide. The alternate set, accessible via #include <ecg/...>, is compatible with DB 9.x applications as described in previous editions of this guide.

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George B. Moody (george@mit.edu)