GNUe Traffic #6 For 8 Dec 2001

By Peter Sullivan

Table Of Contents


This Cousin covers the three main mailing lists for the GNU Enterprise project, gnue, gnue-dev and gnue-announce. For more information about GNUe, see their home page at ( . Details of the mailing lists can be found at ( , ( , ( .

This Cousin no longer covers the #gnuenterprise IRC channel, as the workload from the volume of discussion was proving impractical. However, a great deal of development discussion is still going on in IRC. You can find #gnuenterprise on, or you can review the logs at ( . We are currently thinking through some possible ways of doing "group author" on IRC logs - if there are several people out there who might be willing to contribute, say, one or two threads a week, then let me know ( .

1. Website text for GNU Enterprise

28 Nov 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Re: GNU Enterprise Text"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Neil TiffinAlan Clifford

Neil Tiffin thanked Alan Clifford for his work on the web site descriptions. He said most of the changes could go straight in, but "Where you are thinking about changing a direction we have set, we need to have a consensus with the core team to the change."

2. Website text for GNUe Forcasting Module

28 Nov 2001 - 1 Dec 2001 (3 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Forecasting Text"

Topics: Forcasting, DCL

People: Alan CliffordDerek Neighbors

Alan Clifford came up with an outline description for the Forecasting module:

Most packages concern themselves with the present and the past. Forecasting deals with predicting the future. Marketing uses forecasts to plan products, promotion and pricing. Finance uses forecasts as an input to financial planning. Operations uses forecasts to make capacity, production and inventory decisions.

Forecasting consists of a suite of tools to collect, analyze and present data to decision makers in middle and upper management.

Derek Neighbors said this had been updated, and added "btw, very soon we will be implementing DCL our project managment tool at that time you can then enter these items as work orders for us and post the link to follow them here. :)"

3. Website text for Overview of GNUe

28 Nov 2001 - 30 Nov 2001 (7 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Overview Text"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Alan CliffordReinhard MüllerDaniel BaumannNeil Tiffin

Alan Clifford suggested "we add an Overview line to the list of GNU Enterprise packages" and gave some sample text. Reinhard Müller suggested some changes, mainly to refer to Free Software rather than Open Source, and pointed out "Like any ERP system, a company will have to spend a considerable amount of money and/or time to get and keep GNUe running" . He added "we value the "free" as in freedom more than the "free" as in free beer." Daniel Baumann and Neil Tiffin agreed. Alan incorporated these changes. Reinhard added that maybe "Not sure if we should add a line here to make clear that we are talking about the future here" .

4. Revised Website text for Overview of GNUe

30 Nov 2001 - 3 Dec 2001 (8 posts) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Overview Text Versiion 3.0"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Alan CliffordDaniel BaumannDerek NeighborsJason CaterPeter SullivanReinhard Müller

Further to Issue #6, Section #3  (28 Nov 2001: Website text for Overview of GNUe) , Alan Clifford posted "another draft of the Overview text incorporating the suggestions to-date." Daniel Baumann said the definition of free software was still wrong, and referred Alan to He said "I am sure there are plenty of us GNUe ppl here that do not plan to do consulting work with GNUe software for nothing. We need to make a living too ;)."

Derek Neighbors said that he thought the text implied GNUe was just ERP. "While it can be that, its really a development framework that is much more flexible than an ERP. Any database application can be written with GNUe Tools even if they have nothing to do with the ERP packages, I dont think we want to lose that." Peter Sullivan quoted something Jason Cater had said on IRC, which Jason corrected to:

GNU Enterprise is really two projects in one:

  1. A complete architecture for implementing business applications, and
  2. A set of packages that implement common business applications

Peter did an ASCII text diagram to clarify this, including the concept of "friendly" and "private" applications, which would be formally outside the boundary of the GNUe project. He also "did consider another category of applications - "unfriendly" applications, which were written using GNUe Tools, but not released under GPL or equivalent " - but these would presumably violate the General Public License on GNUe Tools anyway. Reinhard Müller said that their previous discussions on "friendly" and "unfriendly" packages focused on issues like "installation procedure, compatibilty to other applications, coding standards, portability" and so on rather than licensing.

Derek also said that, although he appreciated Reinhard's point about raising expectations, he had been told by the PR people to put GNUe's functionality in the present tense. He felt that Alan's open architecture section needed to emphasise that "can use ANY db, you can use RPC mechanism, you can use ANY programming language for business rules etc, etc, etc..." . However, he really appreciated Alan's work, and thought it could replace the original GNUe Press Release from FSF as the standard introduction to GNUe in time. Alan posted "another draft of the Overview text incorporating the suggestions" as Overview Text version 4.0.

5. CVS change for GNUe config

30 Nov 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] gnue-config has been renamed"

People: Neil Tiffin

Neil Tiffin announced "Please be aware that in cvs gnue/gnue-config has been renamed to gnue/packages. I expect this will break some things."

6. CVS change for GNUe Accounting/Financials

30 Nov 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] gnue/packages/accounting renamed"

Topics: Financials (Accounting)

People: Neil Tiffin

Neil Tiffin announced "Please be aware that gnue/packages/accounting has been renamed in cvs to gnue/packages/finance" He would update the documentation to refer to this change when he had time.

7. Rationalisation of GNUe Mailing Lists

30 Nov 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[Gnue-announce] GNUe Mailing List Changes"

People: James Thompson

James Thompson announced that the large number of GNUe mailing lists on and were being rationalised to just three:

8. Version 0.1.0 Release re-post

30 Nov 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[Gnue-announce] 0.1.0 Releases of Forms, Designer, and Common"

Topics: Forms, Designer, Common

People: James Thompson

James Thompson noticed, whilst migrating the mailing lists, that the 0.1.0 release notice never went out. He therefore (re)-announced:

The GNU Enterprise team is proud to announce the release of GNUe-Forms 0.1.0, GNUe-Designer 0.1.0, and GNUe-Common 0.1.0.

GNUe-Forms is a platform and UI-independent forms system. It reads an XML-based forms definition and creates GUIs for Win32, GTK, and, soon, Curses and HTML. It has a fully data-aware widget set and can be used in both 2-tier and n-tier environments.

GNUe-Designer is the IDE for the GNUe tools. It allows you to visually layout your forms in a RAD-style environment. Designer has a builtin forms client, so you can quickly test your forms while still in Designer. Designer also now has support for form creation wizards... answer a few questions, attach your form to a table, select the fields to include, and, voila, a basic form is created.

GNUe-Common is the basis for the GNUe tools, such as Forms, Reports, and Designer. It implements a database-abstraction layer that provides support for most major databases. A builtin XML-to-Object parser and Object-to-XML marshaller are used by Forms, Reports, and Designer to save and read Forms/Report definitions to and from an XML file. Work has begun on an RPC-abstraction layer that will allow server processes to define their public methods once and have them available to CORBA, XML-RPC, SOAP, and DCOM clients.

All of these releases are targeted at developers. The three products are available in source form from our website at

For the first time, we also have Windows installers that include all the basic dependencies -- you only have to download a single setup.exe! The Installers include support for PostgreSQL, MySQL, and ODBC.

He also included details of supported platforms and changes from previous versions. GNUe Reports and "an HTML UI driver for Forms" were also well under way.

9. GNU Enterprise FAQs

1 Dec 2001 (3 posts) Archive Link: "FAQ on"

People: Neil TiffinDerek Neighbors

Neil Tiffin suggested removing the FAQ from the web site and replacing it "with the faq in cvs" . Maintaining two FAQs was unecessary, and the CVS version was the one mirrored to the main GNU website. Derek Neighbors amended the web page to point to the CVS version " as 'offical faq'" . Neil then tidied up the web site version of the FAQ to include just "a few really common questions that wont change over time" .

10. Revised website text for GNUe Manufacturing

5 Dec 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "[gnue-discuss] Manufacturing Text"

Topics: Manufacturing

People: Alan Clifford

Alan Clifford posted "a draft of the next level of the Manufacturing text" , covering:







Sharon And Joy

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