GNUe Traffic #3 For 17�Nov�2001

By Peter Sullivan

"Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. " - Thomas Jefferson, early free software advocate.

Table Of Contents


This Cousin covers the IRC channel for GNUe (and most of the mailing lists as well). For more information about the GNU Enterprise project, see their home page at ( . Details of the mailing lists can be found at ( . The irc channel is on #gnuenterprise on, or you can review the logs at ( .

1. Non-free alternatives to GNUe

7�Nov�2001 (4 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Kantor"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Derek Neighbors

Kontor ( ( ) and Compiere ( were mentioned as alternatives to GNUe. Derek Neighbors said there had been some discussions with the Kontor team when GNUe was started, but the projects had not been merged, partly due to differences of opinion over Java. Compiere sounded like it was "a 'shrink wrap' style of application [...] While people like to laugh at the configure times of SAP and friends that is their real power is they can do anything the company buying them wishes them too." . However, he encouraged people to "check out all their options and make the choices for themselves."

2. Using GNUe Forms with non-latin character sets

8�Nov�2001�-�9�Nov�2001 (2 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-forms] i18n"

Topics: Forms

People: Dmitry Sorokin,�James Thompson

Dmitry Sorokin outlined the "changes that let me use gnue forms under GNU/Linux and windows with non latin1 charset" (in his case, Cyrillic).

Later, on IRC ( , James Thompson (jamest) said " I'd like to support i18n with any i18n features built into the UIs and python itself - maybe via unicode input scanning" .

3. XML tags and attributes for GNUe Reports

8�Nov�2001�-�8�Oct�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 08 Nov 2001"

Topics: Reports

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Michael Dean

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said "I was going to compile a comprehensive list of report objects which woudl translate to tags/attributes" for XML. Derek gave some examples. Jason Cater said his and Michael Dean's ideas had been similar, they had just used different terminology. Derek said he had used Quickreports, but would welcome input from people who had used packages like Crystal Reports as well, to "see what's missing, what's stupid" . At this stage, this was reference material, not a proposal. Later, he admitted "the part I'm torn on is we have two phases - pre data population, post data population - some of these are needed pre and some post and some both" . It was not clear whether items like page numbers and orientation should be part of the XML, as they were display-dependant.

4. GNUe Form triggers - XML?

8�Nov�2001�-�11�Oct�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 08 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Michael Dean,�Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Daniel Baumann,�Perry Lorier,�James Thompson,�Nick Rusnov,�Reinhard M�ller

Michael Dean (mdean) reported a conversation he had had with Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) on another channel. He had asked "if GNUe is to be language independent, how will you implement triggers" ? Derek said that there had been a lot of discussion about this. He remembered "the thing we all agreed on was that we want to make a trigger/event system that is shared by the appserver and forms" . Michael suggested XML. Derek said this had been discussed, but " it just didnt sit right in fleshing it out " . Later on, he pointed people to ( for more details.

Later, Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said his proposed plugin system would remove this issue. Jason Cater (jcater) said this was different - "we have to have a common way inside those languages to identify our objects" . Daniel suggested "GObject bindings ;)" . Jason later remarked "however we maintain our object references, we have to answer the question of how will the objects be represented in the language's namespace and how will those references tie back into the forms, geas, or reports instance" ? He liked the look of GObjects, however. Perry Lorier (Isomer) suggested "for a v1.0 release, python only bindings IMHO is perfectly fine. Add perl, php, C, C++, scheme, visual basic bindings for v2.0 and rev quickly :)"

James Thompson (jamest) pointed out that you could not store a GObject in a database. He said "GDataObject is IIRC the starting point of our data aware system" . Daniel asked if this meant re-implementing GNUe Application Server (GEAS) in GNUe Forms - "GEAS is essentially GObject and GDataObject if you really think about it" .

Two days later ( , Derek (derek) suggested supporting spidermonkey. Michael supported this, "since it would make GNUe web forms triggers almost no-brainer" . Derek clarified "the idea was to make it so each development house wouldnt have to learn a 'new language'" but could use their personal preference - "our base packages will be python triggers but we want to let any language be used" . If someone had an exisiting system in, say, perl, it might be easier "to reuse a good portion of my code in gnue as well as not have curve of learning python" . Jason pointed out "that if someone is simply wanting to extend our packages, they wouldn't have to rewrite the base in their language" - they could mix and match.

The next day, ( Nick Rusnov (nickr) confirmed that "xml is used heavily throughout gnue" . Perry Lorier (Isomer) said "no databases support XML transactions" - apart from Microsoft SQL Server 2000, as Michael Dean (mdean) pointed out. Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said "we are doing xml from database in the reports module" . They had "looked at the xml query language from the gnome-db project and we decided to stick with SQL for the db access because SQL is sufficiently standardized and supported natively by virtually every db" .

5. HTML client for GNUe Forms

9�Nov�2001�-�13�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 09 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Michael Maluck,�Derek Neighbors,�James Thompson

James Thompson (jamest) said they were doing a new release this weekend, and wanted to include madlocke's code. Michael Maluck (madlocke) said he needed to discuss a few problems first. His postgres wasn't asking for a password, as it had not been set up that way - he suggested having a "UILoginHandler in a base class or as base class " . James agreed. Michael said the UI code "can display most things... the last I did was data exchange... some things work... buttons work..." .

Three days later, ( in a discussion about Webware, Derek Neighbors (derek) said they were "looking to use webware for UI driver [...] that madlocke is working on." GNUe Forms is designed work with any user interface that there is a driver written for. "Now the killer thing is if you use something python based you can use all underlying objects" and just reimplement the driver.

The next day ( , Michael said he hadn't been able to commit his code yet, as he was having to use "WinCVS to checkout" and was getting conversion problems with carridge returns/line feeds. Derek (dneighbo) asked him to e-mail the code. Michael said there was a problem, in that "the only relation between labels and entries is position on screen" . Derek said we should be "autocreating the lable based off a property of entry" .

6. GNUe Forms drivers on Microsoft Windows

10�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 10 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Dmitry Sorokin,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�ra3vat

Dmitry Sorokin (ra3vat) asked "do I need separate driver or something to use gnuef with mysql, both on windows?" Jason Cater (jcater) said "I don't think the mysql drivers work on win32 without modification" . Later, Derek Neighbors (derek) said he wasn't sure that "the mysql drivers for windows 'native'" had ever been tested - the generic Windows ODBC drivers had been tested, but a long time ago. Dmitry was also having problems with using GNUe Forms with postgres on Windows. Derek wondered if this was a TCP/IP probelm. Jason and Dmitry swapped error messages and the set-up information in an attempt to solve the problem.

7. A GNUe paid developer

11�Nov�2001�-�14�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Nov 2001"

People: Derek Neighbors,�James Thompson

Derek Neighbors (derek) said the "scoop is we have some one graciously paying a developer to work on gnue in lithuania now" .

Two days later ( , Derek said that now we had a full-time developer. "we REALLY need dcl ( - especially if we get college interns" .

The next day, ( James Thompson suggested some "things intern and full timers could do" , both new tasks and current.

8. GNUe Forms and X-Forms W3C Standard

12�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Daniel Baumann,�Charles Rouzer,�James Thompson,�Derek Neighbors

Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) asked "if GNUe would benefit from using" the XForms W3C standard. Charles Rouzer (Mr_You) it "probably wouldn't be hard to integrate X-Forms clients at somepoint, or redo GNUe Forms to use X-Forms methods instead" .

Later, Daniel asked if X-Forms was "feature filled enough" to be used for GNUe Forms Definition (gfd) format. James Thompson (jamest) said it had "too much complexity for our target application" . Derek Neighbors (derek) said "It's standard in sense its submitted to a 'standards body'" but no-one was using it. Daniel replied that "mozilla" was implementing it. Derek said he liked XUL, but did not "think it fits with what we are doing" .

9. Methods in GNUe Application Server

12�Nov�2001 (2 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-geas] examples for geas"

Topics: Application Server

People: Reinhard M�ller,�Oliver Vecernik,�James Thompson,�Daniel Baumann

Oliver Vecernik reported some errors running GNUe Application Server (GEAS) from cvs. Reinhard M�ller said that "I think the reason is that you entered a non-numeric string when asked for the weight." Oliver also asked "Is there a step by step instruction" for producing classes and testing them in Python. Reinhard said "To produce classes you need to write .gcd files. For the python test you could refer to the samples" or suggested joining the IRC channel. Oliver also asked "How to shutdown GEAS correctly?" . Reinhard said the kill command was the only way - "we will add some better way someday."

Later, on IRC, ( , Oliver (ov) asked about the status of methods in GEAS. Reinhard (reinhard) said "to be 100% honest methods are already implemented but in a way we are not happy with and e want to redo the implementation so we don't tell you :)" Later, he added "forms and reports seems usable in the state they are now. GEAS was contributed by a company and we are now in the process of going through the code and adapting it to our needs wrt maintainability, performance etc." Oliver asked "is there a possibility to write businessobjects for 2 tier and port them to geas sometimes?" James Thompson (jamest) said it depended. "We're going to try and share trigger/method system - if it works then I think you could at least share the methods - the object definition isn't possible now" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said he thought "forms could play with objects too and they can execute on the client side" . Ideally, the GNUe Common package should handle all of this, and "you shouldn't even have to know that the objects are remote objects or not" .

10. GNUe Implementation Plan

12�Nov�2001�-�14�Nov�2001 (5 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Implementation plan"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Alan Clifford,�Derek Neighbors,�Neil Tiffin

Alan Clifford asked "What is the implementation plan for GNU Enterprise?" Derek Neighbors said "A roadmap for the tools has just started to take shape." Although the applications side had lost some focus, "I think we have some consulting jobs that will push feature sets here very soon though." General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable were the logical starting point, but "I think 'real world' demands will pull us in other directions. Mainly invoicing (billing) and CRM." Alan asked "Do you plan to do an overall design before you start implementation of components?" Derek replied "Yes and no. We were running thought of TWO tracts. One tract is the pie in the sky fleshing out of the package/module with review from lists etc and incorporation as the 'official GNUe' piece for said item. The other tract is demand based consulting type stuff that will be contributed back for redistribution but will not be 'official'. This comes because we have some real consulting demands that will not allow us to do it the 'offical' way, but will likely produce usable for others software. We have always had the notion of 'official', 'friendly', 'unfriendly' etc types of packages."

Alan volunteered to "submit one page descriptions of various packages so you can replace the "This is the x package" messages when users click on the GNUe package names on the " " page." Derek said the documentation was done in docbook ( . "You can find the source for the documents in the CVS tree." He encouraged Alan to submit a proposal for Accounts Payable, using the other proposals as a template. Neil Tiffin said "Email the proposal to me in any text based format and i will circulate it and put the relevant details on the web site. Please feel free to submit AP or improvements in AR and GL. The current specification are not rigorous and need a lot of work."

11. GNUe setup.exe for Microsoft Windows

12�Nov�2001�-�13�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms, Designer

People: James Thompson,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�Perry Lorier

James Thompson (jamest) said "we can now have a setup.exe for forms and designer. However we should probably come up with a default install behaviour for gnue tools on windows machines " . Some files needed to go into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM, others to C:\Program Files\gnue. Jason Cater said "an alternative installation scheme would be to have two installation .exes" , one with just the client software and another one for full development. James said the environment variables should logically go in the Windows Registry, but no-one was very keen on this, because as James himself pointed out "as it sets we should be able to network install this puppy - registry hacks make than tougher" . So for the moment, the client applications would just look in their own directory for files.

Later on, James confirmed that they were using inno, "a free installer for windows - takes a script and makes a setup.exe from a bunch of files - with the files we have gnuef and designer are setup.exe's that install and uninstall nicely - just got to work some kinks out of the system" . He later said "we're currently looking for a win32 install maintainer" , but there were no volunteers. He finally got the GNUe Forms install working, with "some minnor issues to work out" .

The next day, ( Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) was "testing windows installer" . James was hoping Derek "would do up a little intro form" as there were no sample forms included at all yet. Derek requested that the icon for the GNUe Forms client should point to a " default sample form" . Later, Jason confirmed that the sample files had been added as a selectable componant, and said "our windows setup rocks!" Derek said he wished "we could make the unix setup that damn clean and good looking" . But using apt-get would tie people to Debian, and most other solutions were proprietry. Perry Lorier (Isomer) suggested " isn't a bad way either" .

12. Documentation for release 0.1.0

13�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 13 Nov 2001"

People: James Thompson,�Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater

James Thompson (jamest) did some final tidying up for 0.1.0 with Jason Cater (jcater), and said "so we're pretty much down to doc updates now right?" . Later, Derek Neighbors said "we need to make a 'manual' for designer that has 'pictures'" , but for 0.1.0, the Technical Reference would do. James suggested including "a URL link to the docs then they are always up to date :)" .

Later, Jason said "I still can't get lyx working" . James said "I've written 3 chapters of a manual while he's trying to just get the dependencies" . Derek said he'd rather the screenshots did not imply preference for "one desktop over another :)" to avoid holy wars over the merits of KDE, GNOME or even Microsoft Windows.

13. GNUe Forms and Microsoft Access

14�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Jason Cater (jcater) said he had set up "a form that is pulling data from an MS Access database via ODBC" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said "the reason this is cool as now we know integrator can be made to convert people from access to postgres :)" Later, Jason confimed he was working on native drivers for Access, as "ODBC drivers will not support introspection (so designer won't be quite as impressive running via ODBC) - but running native against MS Access/SQL Server/FoxPro with full schema discovery - that's an upgrade path :)"

14. Additional commands after database connection

14�Nov�2001�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Nov 2001"

Topics: Forms

People: Jason Cater,�Dmitry Sorokin,�Derek Neighbors,�ra3vat

Dmitry Sorokin (ra3vat) asked how to pass additional commands to the database after getting a connection. Jason Cater said "If you are having to customize one of our drivers for your environment, then we may need to do something else" Dmitry said he needed to "SET CLIENT_ENCODING TO 'WIN'" for his set-up. Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) asked if "this should be another item in the connection file?" Jason agreed, and quickly made the changes and committed them to CVS.

Sharon And Joy

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