GNUe Traffic #17 For 23�Feb�2002

By Peter Sullivan

"anyone care if I make cvs flaky in a bit?" - "um - as opposed to what? :)" - "not very flaky i suppose"

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 ( , ( , ( .

It also covers the #gnuenterprise IRC channel. A great deal of development discussion for this project goes on in IRC. You can find #gnuenterprise on, or you can review the logs at ( .

1. GNUe Error Messages

14�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Feb 2002"

Topics: Forms, Why GNUe?

People: James Thompson,�Reinhard M�ller,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

James Thompson (jamest) said " one of my users had forms generate the following error msg - Bad! Bad! Bad!" . He thought he "may need to clean up the error code output a bit" . He was " glimpseindexing the source - to see where that msg is embedded. It is probably worth the time to make sure all our output is politically correct [...] I could just see someone calling me up - um this forms says I'm screwed - what do you mean? - well the error message is "You're Screwed!" - oh's a typo" .

Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said " in some of my programs i have error messages like " if you read this please call reinhard immediately!" :)" Jason Cater (jcater) said " well, better than "if you read this, reinhard is already vacationing in the Philipines with all your money"" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said " i always thought error messages we could expect to see from m$ error 23342: Your data is trashed, for a 89.99 upgrade fee we might be able to get some of it back." or "error:31137 Serious data loss has occurred. It's the perfect opportunity to install windows 2000 since you have nothing left to lose, except 200.00 or so dollars." .

2. Installing GNUe on Red Hat GNU/Linux

14�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Feb 2002"

People: Derek Neighbors,�Keith Nasman,�Keith

Keith Nasman (kdog) said that some people had been e-mailing him for help with his Red Hat installation instructions ( on the website. Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) apologised - "i didnt mean to defer people to you - just wanted to give you proper credit" . Keith said "No problem, I send them here :-) " . Derek suggested forwarding enquiries to the e-mail address.

3. Moving to wxpython 2.3

15�Feb�2002�-�16�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Feb 2002"

Topics: Forms

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

James Thompson (jamest) asked whether anyone was using GNUe Forms with wxpython 2.2, as opposed to " vs the devel 2.3.x branch?" . He was keen to "ditch 2.2 support as part of a code cleanup" . Jason Cater (jcater) noted " issue is we will break our debian support :(" . Derek Neighbors (derek) asked "what is there that needs to break" ? He felt that keeping Debian GNU/Linux support was more important. James said "the urge to move to 2.3 was to clean up lots of crap in our code that are workarounds for 2.2 issues, however I thought debian was 2.3, since it breaks it i don't want to move up" .

4. GNUe Web Site(s)

16�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 16 Feb 2002"

People: Peter Sullivan,�James Thompson,�Derek Neighbors,�Calum Morrell

Peter Sullivan (psu) noted that " the GNUe entry on sourceforge - it mentions the main web site - but doesn't say where it is" . James Thompson (jamest) said "we really need help with maintaining the web sites" . Both Peter and Calum Morrell (drochaid) volunteered to help. James said "the sourceforge site is so far out of date it's nuts - the main site has people not liking nuke - but at least it's letting us get stories up easier " . Peter also noted that the GNUe web site on ( " has lots of dead links too" , and asked "shall I have a go at updating it, or do we just replace with a placeholder page to point to the main website?" . James said " we need to maintain that page - per fsf request" .

Later, Derek Neighbors (derek) said "psu or drochaid if you want to help with web sites EASIEST quick gain is to update site pages - they are in cvs so easy to deal with updates on - and submit patches on the other ones - that is. I think we shut most of down - we should just update our 'releases' there" . James said "we did - but our files are out of date - and I had someone mail me with issues with last forms program loaded there :(" . Derek said he expected " soon enough sourceforge will be shut down - or made a 'pay site' anyhow - by the looks of all the chagnes going on at VA" .

5. GNUe on Macintosh OS X

16�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 16 Feb 2002"

Topics: Forms, Designer

People: James Thompson,�Neil Tiffin

James Thompson (jamest) asked Neil Tiffin (neilt) "hows wx support comming along? " on Mac OS X. Neil said he had got this key dependancy installed, and asked " you want to walk me through getting forms working?" . James was keen, as he " would love to see mac os screen shots :)" . Theoretically, the main file should do everything "for a developer install" that included everything. User installs were slightly more complicated, as they had to run a for each part of the application they wanted. This installed the programs, and then Neil had to add their working directory to his path, but then got the introduction form working straight away. Designer also worked first time, with a few minor GUI issues. James then suggested adding details of a valid database to the connections.conf file, and using this to build a form using the wizard.

Later, Neil reported " new screenshot posted using designer with Mac OS X" . James later put this on the website.

6. Using a specific version of python on RedHat GNU/Linux

17�Feb�2002�-�19�Feb�2002 (6 posts) Archive Link: "A question on two version of python."

People: Scott Lamb,�Derek Neighbors,�Stan Klein

It was asked how to make the script use python 2.1.2, as it required, rather than python 1.5.2, where both were installed on a system. Scott Lamb said you could run with a specific version of python by typing "/usr/local/bin/python ./ <arguments>" . However, "that command won't work well unless you've installed several other packages. There's a guide to RedHat installation at ( ." He also reminded "to install the Python drivers for whatever database you intend to use" . Derek Neighbors said you could also " in change the first line to be location of your 2.1 binary " . Stan Klein warned " If you plan to use printconf, you need to keep python-1.5.2. You also need to be careful installing the PyXML 0.7 that is required with Python 2.1 to run gnue."

7. Using Forms with Application Server

17�Feb�2002 (1 post) Archive Link: "[Gnue-dev] geas bus error"

Topics: Forms, Application Server, Designer

People: James Thompson,�Neil Tiffin,�Reinhard M�ller

On IRC ( , Neil Tiffin (neilt) asked how to make GNUe Forms work with GNUe Application Server (GEAS). James Thompson (jamest) said that "you setup a entry in connections.conf with a provider of geas" . You then referenced that connections entry from within the GNUe Forms Definition (.gfd) file. Alternatively, some "forms don't require a connections.conf entry as they define a <database> tag which is like a form specific entry in connections.conf" .

Neil asked how the tables were created in GEAS. James said "those forms expect a fully functoinal geas which has autocreated it tables" . You couldn't use GEAS and Designer together at the moment, " as a lot of the GEAS api requires corba.boolean support" , which was currently broken. He outlined how to re-create the error, explaining "the basic query works fine - it's when you try and do something more complex than pull all data" . Neil confirmed that " geas does not work for me any more, i get a bus error" .

Neil posted his error message to the gnue-dev mailing list for Reinhard M�ller to have a look at.

8. CVS concepts

18�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Feb 2002"

People: Daniel Baumann,�Derek Neighbors,�David McWherter

David McWherter (dtm) asked what 'HEAD' was in CVS. Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) explained this was "the main branch - the 'trunk' if you will " David asked if this was the stable distribution. Daniel said "HEAD is usually the most unstable as it is like the current cvs version" . Derek Neighbors (derek) explained "generally branches are stable of some sort" . Daniel said "Usually you hack on a certain stable branch and fix bugs - HEAD has all the 'development' stuff in it - at some point HEAD becomes stable and you branch off again (that's one way to do it). You can merge bug fixes form the stable branch back into HEAD. The cvs book is a good source " .

David said this "seems counterintuitive to me; i'd think the stable should be default ;)" . Daniel pointed out "well you usually only checkout cvs code if you're going to hack (theoretically)" - normal users would just download an official release. However, "some ppl do keep HEAD 'stable' and start an unstable 'branch' - you can do it however you want" . GNUe had done this at times in the past, and so did ORBit.

He explained "cvs only grabs the 'diffs' - so once you do the initial checkout usually you're not downloading a lot after that - it just pacthes the files and grabs new files. iirc, it does the equivalent as diff -urN old new would do - so, in essence it is incremental, but it is all ASCII of course for the most part as it's used to manage source code, or html files, etc. " .

9. Case sensitivity and copy/cut/paste in Forms

18�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Feb 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Derek Neighbors (derek) asked whether queries in Forms were case-sensitive. Jason Cater (jcater) said " it is case sensitive - but if the field is set to case="upper" then that applies to both input and queries " . Derek asked "do we plan on putting menu based copy/cut/paste in" ? Jason said this had just been added.

10. GNUe full-time developers

18�Feb�2002�-�20�Feb�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Feb 2002"

Topics: Application Server

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

Derek Neighbors (derek) asked Steve Neighbors (pirate1962) "you were willing to work on the application server part right?or you want some other hideous task?" . He explained that for Application Server, " we have something written in C that had some lofty goals and works to a degree. Rather than give you the spec for that we have been debating about what we really want in an app server and whether its smarter to 'phase' in functionality" .

Derek said "our original goals in an application server were..... (iirc) a. provide n-tier architecture, where db server could be independent of middleware and middleware independent of client and at either tier you could do fail over/ load balancing or replication - b. that storage would be in SQL database but presented as 'objects' for client applications - c. that the objects methods could be written in any language - d. some other goals that i dont recall w/o looking at the docs " .

Steve noted "multiple languages and transports is a desirable objective, but it comes at a cost." . Derek agreed, but said " we are hoping in many ways maintenance will be better or at least suits will think so" , as you wouldn't have to re-train in-house programmers to use a particular language to use or extend GNUe - they could even use Visual Basic if they wanted to. Abstracting the transport layer was important "because if anything transport is in a state of flux - 2 years ago it was DCOM, last year it was CORBA, six months ago it was XML-RPC, with .net its now SOAP. Abstracting that lets us kind of 'roll' with the flow with minimum effort and allows maximum types of clients to use the server" . He admitted he personally didn't consider language abstraction as important, as "im a python freak - so i woudl be fine with it only supporting python :)" . Jason Cater (jcater) pointed out "we do try to design our APIs with this abstraction in mind; not simply try to mold some existing product to fix our needs after the fact - of course, that only takes you so far :)" . Steve worried that "you need to be experts in all supported areas just to defend yourself and provide decent service." . Derek felt "i think this is where open source kicks butt - generally what we do is implement our FAVORITE way of doing things but leave an open api for others - then as the 'expert' in that way comes along they just plug into the API. Like database abstraction - we did two or three providerswe use regularly and one day code just 'showed up from ibm' for db2 out of the blue" .

Derek pointed to various documents about GNUe Application Server on the website. Steve said he would " take a look at all of them and get back with questions" .

Two days later ( , Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) noted that " the fellow from lithuania has all installed now and i think is ready to begin working full time on gnue - where do we want to let him loose at?" He explained " a company in lithuania that does free software consulting" was keen on using GNUe, and "so in between jobs he is letting one of his developers work on gnue" . This had been in the pipeline for a while, " just nothing happened with it for a long time" . James Thompson (jamest_) said "there is a huge todo" and asked for more information. Derek said "he doesnt speak english really well " , but might speak Russian. " He doesnt know python natively but he does have degree in computer science" and should hopefully have all the relevent reference books. He suggested finding some " quick wins" for him to do. He admitted "it suprised me quite a bit too, i had almost forgotten about it" .

Derek asked Jason " btw when do our interns start?" . Jason said "this week - have one this time - didn't want to bite off more than I can chew. I have him doing an Oracle Reports to GNUe Reports translater" . Even though the tags for GNUe Reports weren't defined yet, " first step is decoding/reading Oracle Reports file" .

11. Using a specific version of python on RedHat GNU/Linux

19�Feb�2002 (2 posts) Archive Link: "Problem with GEAS and MySQL 4.01"

Topics: Application Server

People: Christopher Lewis,�Reinhard M�ller

Christopher Lewis reported " a problem running the geas-server program. It doesn't seem like it can create the database" using MySQL 4.01. Reinhard M�ller said that the postgresqlreserved file should not be commented out of the configuration file - " The reason is that geas loads (or tries to load) both files no matter what database is acutally used" , so it could check whether you were trying to use a reserved word from any supported database.

Christopher also asked " I know this is basically a development release, but is there any documentation available for end users and other non-developers? " . Reinhard suggested ( "is a good starting point for looking for offical and inofficial docs." .

Sharon And Joy

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