GNUe Traffic #25 For 19�Apr�2002

By Peter Sullivan

free software is a strange and wild animal - doing development with people who speak your native tongue as a 4th language and are 10 time zones away - makes for interesting development at times

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 Application Server documentation

11�Apr�2002�-�15�Apr�2002 (5 posts) Archive Link: "GEDI/Database Schema proposals?"

Topics: Application Server, Designer

People: Jason Felice,�Reinhard M�ller,�Derek Neighbors,�Andrew Mitchell

Jason Felice volunteered to do "a "request for proposal" for GEDI." He was "not interested in the GEDI API itself, but I want to implement an XML schema plus utilities for managing database schema's in sort of an object-oriented manner, but such work would make a pretty good foundation for a sophisticated data api." Reinhard M�ller said that the document Jason had seen was "nearly 2 years old and widely outdated. I feel absolutely sorry for our incomplete and outdated documentation. It's a pain to see how they are misleading people that look at the project. We have talked about a webpage redesign. Maybe we should go through the docs and remove the outdated ones - I believe that no documentation is better than documentation that simply tells wrong stuff."

Jason also asked "are there any thoughts on making a database designer module for the designer?" Derek Neighbors said "We definitely want/plan/need to make a database designer module for designer. We have an XML based markup for SQL table maintenance that supports 4 or 5 different DB's." Jason asked "Do we consider the database a business object, or do we have neat hat tricks to map between the two?" Reinhard said "In our n-tier setup, there will be the "GNU Enterprise Application Server" which maps business objects into database tables. The person creating a module for GNUe will design business objects instead of database tables."

Some days later on IRC ( , Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) asked "is there going to be a different cvs dir for the new geas, or gonna drop it in the existing dir?" Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) suggested "i'll create a new directory "appserver" - to be consistent with "forms" "reports" etc" . He wished he had "more GNUe time - it hurts so much to see people wanting to help and not even having time to put them to work" .

2. Using other XML tools with GNUe Reports

10�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Reports

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater

Derek Neighbors (derek) asked "why two filter directories? in reports/" . Jason replied "one for your xsl files - and one for adapters" . He explained "if you look in adapters/filters you'll see raw and sablotron - /me likes pluggable stuff - even if we never use anything but sablotron" . Derek agreed.

3. Master-Detail Forms

10�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms, Designer

People: Reinhard M�ller,�Bajusz Tam�s

It was asked if subforms (master/detail) were working in Forms under Windows. Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said "AFAIK master/detail is working on all platforms" . Later, Bajusz Tam�s (btami) suggested "try master/detail form wizard in designer" . This wasn't in the 0.1.1 release, but "you can find it in cvs :)" . Designer could be installed from CVS on Windows, as long as you had all the dependancies, including python - "dont use 2.2 - it has some bugs - use 2.1" .

4. HTML clients for Forms

10�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Reinhard M�ller,�Andrew Mitchell,�Derek Neighbors

It was asked where the two HTML drivers (as mentioned in Issue�#23, Section�#6� (28�Mar�2002:�HTML clients for GNUe) ) were in CVS. Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said "there was a java implementation of forms but that development has stopped long ago due to lack of time" . Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) noted "there was work done on a UIwebware driver, dunno what happened to it" . Derek Neighbors (derek) said "i believe the php implementation is in cvs - or is in process of getting there - ~/cvs/gnue/phpforms" .

5. Preselect bug in Forms

10�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Dmitry Sorokin,�Derek Neighbors,�ra3vat

There was some discussion about how to do preselect in Forms using postgresql. Dmitry Sorokin (ra3vat) asked "are you able to fill the form some other way like manually "start query", "execute query"?" It was confirmed this worked, so it was just a problem with the pre-select rather than a more general database connection issue. Later, Derek Neighbors (derek) confimed "prequery is used by doing prequery="" - unfortunately it is currently broken :) - i believe a bug is submitted against it" .

6. wxPython issues with i18n and unicode

10�Apr�2002�-�15�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Bajusz Tam�s,�Dmitry Sorokin,�Jason Cater,�James Thompson,�Derek Neighbors

Bajusz Tam�s (btami) reported he had sent "some bugs/fix to dcl on i18n issue" . He said supporting 2-byte unicode in the Microsoft Windows version of GNUe would not not easy, as "win9x doesn't support unicode" - "but with last bugfix i'v sended, my texts in forms are all correct now - labels, gnue.conf msgs, input, all ok" for 1-byte i18n. He had based this on Dmitry Sorokin's "old fix in 0.1.1 forms" . Dmitry said that "i think we will not switch to unicode in one day - i'm not ready to do my forms in utf8 right now" . Bajusz confirmed that, for his fix, "encoding=xxx is needed in form header - and correct defautltencoding in or in too" . There was lots of good information about i18n in the "internationalizing topic in wxpython help" .

Some days later ( , Bajusz asked "jcater: have you seen my jpg-s about "collapsed" forms?" . Jason Cater (jcater) said he had "received them - but haven't had a chance to look yet" . James Thompson (jamest) said "this is the fixed font vs non fixed font issue - we can't just move to non fixed font and it totally screws up some forms" . There was an option in the gnue.conf file to force fixed width fonts for a particular installation, however. Jason said that the problem was that, on many systems, including Microsoft Windows 98 and GNU/Linux, the wxDEFAULT font "falls back to non-fixed width fonts" He added "what I *really* want to do is let the sysadmin specify exactly *what* font to use and if none is specified, use the wxMODERN" . He had "had really bad luck playing with wx's font system" . James agreed - "what we have today is the result of lots of trial and error which has resulted in something that "sucks less" - less than what I'm not sure though :)" .

Later, Derek Neighbors (dnWork) asked "any chance specifying own fonts would fix darn ugly dropdown boxes?" He said "they are a different 'size' than the other widgets and the font appears different in them" . James said " no, own fonts won't fix problem IIRC - we had to put a fudge factor into the dropdown size calculations , again IIRC - i don't recall why but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with my tester always running some damn themed desktop vs the default one I aways stick with" .

7. Documenting GNUe Common

10�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Apr 2002"

Topics: Common, Application Server, Reports

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

James Thompson (jamest) asked "what parts of gnue common should get documented first to be of the most use to the GEAS conversion?" . Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) suggested "db access - that's the most important imho" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) suggested "i think rpc has to be pretty high up there too - db allows geas to look at harvesting data - but without rpc no one can use it :)" . But Jason Cater (jcater) noted that for Reports, he had got "the engine working and a command line version of it running - so ppl can develop reports and see what it's gonna be like" , before the client/server parts were fully operational. He was "thinking the same thing could happen w/GEAS and Forms - that would allow ppl to start using the abstraction-qualities of geas - even before we get a solid/stable server/rpc setup" . Derek was not convinced - "unlike reports, geas is not usefull w/o client/server other than testing imho" . Jason said "my point was to get app development started asap" .

James said "its possible to figure out common by using it - so the docs aren't stopping anything from being developed" . However, Reinhard said that "python doesn't do "encapsulation" - i.e. it isn't defined which routines are considered "public" and which ones "private"" , which made just reading the source code more difficult. James started documenting the GCClientApp to get started, "then I'll do DB as it's a bitch" . He would leave RPC until last as the code base itself "is very much a work in progress" in this area.

Later, James reported "in common/doc there is a common-techref.lyx file" , and asked for feedback. Several people were having problems installing the software for various documentation formats, which lead on to a general discussion about the best format for GNUe documentation. Reinhard commented "actually it's not funny - but at least it's amusing - that there are less dependencies to run gnuef than to read it's docs :)" .

8. CR/LF problem with Forms on Microsoft Windows

11�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: James Thompson,�Harald Meyer

Further to Issue�#24, Section�#5� (4�Apr�2002:�Patching and profiling GNUe Forms) , James Thompson (jamest) said "something extreme odd is going on on win32 - the widget is ok being passed strings with just \n in them - however it must autoconvert to \r\n which throws the cursor placement off" . Harald Meyer (Harald1> said "that explains why I hadn't problems, when I tested it in a small wypython app - did you change anything, or are there still problems?" James said "I've just been playing - i haven't applied the latest patches you sent yet" . Harald said they weren't a complete fix - "just an example of what I think has to be done to convert to \n when storing in the db. but I'm not sure that making a conversion in _tosqlString is enough - but as the widget does autoconvert \n -> \r\n, it could work" .

9. GNUe Documentation

11�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Apr 2002"

Topics: Reports

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Peter Sullivan,�James Thompson,�Nick Rusnov,�James Thomspon,�Reinhard M�ller

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) asked Jason Cater (jcater) "any reason you started a lyx doc" on GNUe Reports, as "opposed to using existing docbook doc in cvs?" . Jason said "I'm 99.8% sure they cover different parts of reports" . Derek was not - "if the name is reporting concepts i think it belongs in report proposal [...] if its a users guide then i agree it should be separate" . Jason said the original document "addresses nothing that I'm addressing" . Derek said it "was a big picture overview but was meant to be filled with more detail [...] what you are doing now (the details) were to go in it - im more concerned that we are now going to have two documents that have a reports overview that will probably 'conflict'" . Jason was clear that they were "COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TOPICS" .

Earlier, Peter Sullivan (psu) asked "do we need to re-think our docs policy" , as the official standard was docbook, but in practice most people used lyx as they "understandably want to use a wysiwyg editor" . James Thompson (jamest) said he "just wants docs that 1) don't require me to program them 2) have tools that actually don't suck" . He had had extreme difficulty getting docbook to work reliably (on GNU/Linux), or at all (on anything else). Nick Rusnov suggested "standardizing on the XML docbook would be a positive move" , as any XML transformation tool could be used to produce the documents. Texinfo was also suggested. James said "texinfo and docbook have me spending time programming the docs - instead of programming GNUe" . Nick suggested "use a standardized text format, and I'll write a perl script to convert them to docbook :)" but "you don't really exploit the logical markup that way" . James agreed - "we really need chapters, sections, etc - IMHO - if there was any editor that let me easily write docbook - then I'm ok with docbook" . Nick commented "I coulda sworn abiword supported docbook" . James said he wasn't a lyx zealot - "lyx sucks too - it just sucks less than doing it by hand" . Derek thought that "99% of our docbook issues are that of staleness" as they were still using the SGML version of docbook - "so when you get the docbook tools that are now xml and xsl there are 'issues'" .

James said he had started to document GNUe Common, "and jcater is (trying) to start on reports" , but neither of them were keen on doing documentation. Derek and Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) both said they appreciated the effort put in on documentation. Derek said the "problem with the .txt docs is they are too incohesive and scattered and often conflicting so when someone tries to consolodate them and format them its nearly impossible w/o getting the original authors involved" . He noted "on at least 5 occassions i tried to consolidate geas docs to no avail" . Jason felt "one large doc is much worse than 5 targeted docs imho" . Derek felt that was true for developers, but not for end-users "becaues FINDING the docs is the problem - the idea originally was to have as many small docs as you want and then create books from them so users had a choice to search for a targeted doc or get a broader picture on a topic and garner all the docs for it" . Nick suggested "should take the whole bodice of documentation and treat it as one book in separate files - 'the gnue book'" . Derek said that had been the intention.

Later, Derek suggested "we could always use debian-doc which is like a skinny version of docbook :)" . Nick noted that "debian-doc is being abandoned in favor of docbook" . He felt "docbook xml is probably the best choice in this day and age, just need some tools and infrastructure" - there were "no really good frontends though" . Derek said "KDE and FreeBSD just moved to docbook for all docs - gnome alredy did - and sounds like debian will be - makes me wonder why [...] there are no good visual editors for it" .

10. Python ODMG bindings for GNUe Application Server

11�Apr�2002�-�13�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Apr 2002"

Topics: Application Server, Common

People: Daniel Baumann

Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said he was "working on python ODMG binding" as "you can implement the collection classes in python" . This was documented in odmg.txt ( . He noted that "some of them should contain lists as a member - some contain a dictionary - andn we should implement the methods for emulating those types" . Methods would also be needed for operations such as add and compare. He said "I am hoping to get the the point of difining the odmg collections classes in python" but "I don;t think they'll get done immediately" .

The next day ( , Daniel felt "that the OMG wants to do the same as what we are trying to do with gnurpc - er, well at least have ti be an extensible framework" , citing some quotes. He noted "instead of CORBA they are going UML to code now - it's wacky shit - they are adding stuff to UML to help make code generation easier - this is cool as I always thought the one stop CORBA solution was short sighted" .

Another day on ( , Daniel hyperlinked to an OMDG document ( outlining "a way to be middleware agnostic - and use thier existing framework(s) - I think they have seen the error of their ways of making CORBA the one stop middleware solution in their standards and went to using UML so as to support multiple middlewares - I wonder how far along they are in converting all those IDLs of their 'services' and other standards into this UML modeling thing" ? He also liked another ( article as well.

11. Using GNU-RPC on other projects

11�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Apr 2002"

Topics: Common

People: Andrew Mitchell,�Daniel Baumann,�Nick Rusnov

Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) noted that "bkuhn on dotgnu list" had suggested "another irc meeting for GNUe, phpgw, and dotgnu over rpc stuff (including jabber )" , following on from Issue�#5, Section�#10� (26�Nov�2001:�GNU: The Gathering) and Issue�#5, Section�#11� (26�Nov�2001:�The GNU Project - Meeting of the Minds) . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) asked "what's jabber got to do with it? jabber is sort of a SOAP replacement?" . Nick Rusnov (nickr) said "jabber isn't exactly a soap replacement" . Daniel said "they call it messagin middleware - that could be SOAP, CORBA, etc. - we can support jabber as we do all the others - but it's not going to be a defacto standard or anything - our objective is to provide choice, imho" . However, "please note I am saying this without even reading the message yet ;)" .

12. Alternatives to GNUe

14�Apr�2002 (3 posts) Archive Link: "Compiere"

Topics: Application Server

People: Todd Boyle,�Derek Neighbors,�Christopher Brown,�Christopher Brown

Todd Boyle asked about Compiere ( - "Can anybody advise +/- on this thing? Does it work?" . Derek Neighbors, remembering Issue�#3, Section�#1� (7�Nov�2001:�Non-free alternatives to GNUe) , said "It has been a while. If I reember correctly the biggest knocks were: a. It is java based. b. It only work with Oracle backend." Christopher Brown said the "BIG, BIG, BIG problem with Compiere" was that "It requires a whopping big pile of software that is: a) Not open source, and b) VERY nontrivial to install" - "Compiere may itself be "free software," but it's only free if you have already sent your briefcases full of money to Sun and Oracle." He also didn't like the use of the Mozilla Public License, as "Contributing to MPLed Compiere basically amounts to giving your code to the vendor."

Todd also asked about possible collaberation between projects. Derek replied "Merging code generally doesnt work, ego's often prevent it. Collaboration on other levels are good, but in case of RPC and such interoperation is generally much easier than 10 years ago. GNUe is of course willing to collaborate in any way that is good for the user."

13. Release plans for GNUe

13�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Apr 2002"

Topics: Common, Application Server, Reports, Forms, Designer

People: Jason Cater,�Neil Tiffin

Jason Cater (jcater) said "in the next week, we'll be doing the first release of Reports - plus a maintenance release of common, forms, and designer. Some of the commits you see are documentation for Common so GEAS can get underway again" . Neil Tiffin (neilt) was pleased that GNUe Application Server (GEAS) was being rewritten in python now, but "its just sad that it will take a while to get back to working state" Neil asked how to debug python. Jason said "our GNUe-Common includes a built-in stepping debugger now - just run the app with --interactive-debugger" . This had just been added "in this past week :) - but james was showing me all it can do - and it rocks" .

14. Master-detail and auto-increment fields in MySQL

13�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 14 Apr 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater

Derek Neighbors (derek) said he had been helping someone by e-mail with installing gnue, all the time wondering why no-one else was chipping in, only to discover it was all going to his local LUG mailing list rather than They had now got it working, and he quoted some feedback received - "Can't recall who recommended gnue for my simple invoice system, but thanks :-) Took a couple days break from the install problems, and within a hour or two today, I have most of it working. This is neat stuff." There were some problems using the master-detail wizard with MySQL, as the primary key for the master was an auto-increment field that didn't get created until commit time. Derek asked "this is because he needs to use the spiff function? that doesnt exist for mysql? the get next id thing?" . He suggested "we might want to change the 'master/detail' wizard to allow this to be auto created (the function) as an option" . Jason Cater (jcater) said that, in principle, "auto-sequences are not a good thing in gnue-land" but this was "not a bad idea" .

15. Using pysablot as an XML transformation tool with GNUe Reports

14�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Apr 2002"

Topics: Reports

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Nick Rusnov

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) asked about progress on the "pysablot packages" , as referred to in Issue�#24, Section�#4� (3�Apr�2002:�Using pysablot as an XML transformation tool with GNUe Reports) . Jason Cater (jcater) said "I have them mirrored ( " , as Nick Rusnov did not have an account on the gnuenterprise server. Jason had "looked into PySablot and the author is active - he just started a new Python-related project on sourceforge this month" . Derek said he would rather that the original maintainer would respond, "but im pro adopting it if need be" .

Later, Nick confirmed he was "willing to maintain pysablot" as an official Debian package "if there is ubstream and docs and a copyright and a license" . Derek said he believed "license is GPL and copyright is the fellow who wrote it" . He had e-mailed the developer "asking if he was going to continue its development - and if not would he turn it over to GNUe" . He said "i can probably whip together a license and copyright file for him and upload to him a new tar ball for release including at least a README ;) and maybe even a simple doc :)" . Nick said this would mean he "could upload it to the archive" as an official Debian package.

16. Progress on GNUe Reports

14�Apr�2002�-�15�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Apr 2002"

Topics: Reports

People: Michael Dean,�Derek Neighbors,�Talli Somekh,�Nick Rusnov,�Jason Cater

Michael Dean (mdeanlt) asked "how is reports going?" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) replied "good - we are generating html now - and text (though poorly formatted)" . Output was currently to a static file, "but its all using pysablot so we can do inline eventually" . Already "reports support output of file, email, printer, fax" .

The next day ( , Talli Somekh (talli) asked "i noticed that there's been quite a bit of activity with GNUe Reports in CVS the past few weeks - has it's status of proof of concept changed at all?" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said "the proof of concept works - if you take the foobulations report and run it, it reads teh database and creates resulting XML and we have text and html transformations of that XML" . Talli asked if it was production-ready. Derek said "i would say if you have to be in production like today and you arent willing to 'suffer the ills' of using growing software then reports is not for you today - IF however you have a little time before you need to be in produciton i.e. you are coding production and you have developers on staff that can quickly patch code if for some reason the reports development team is around - then reports might be a pretty good bet for you" He added "for immediate focus text and html will be the concentrated outputs - but i am looking at gnumeric and excell outputs as well - ps, pdf etc will come shortly but with XSLT they have to go to FO first which i need to study up on" . Talli asked whether "creating new reports" was a developer or end-user task. Derek said "currently there is no visual report designer though we are expecting that our current visual forms designer will be easily adapted to the task" . However, even at time of writing, "if they know markup they can do it - i.e. if they could write an html report they could write a gnue report right now" .

On the postscript and PDF output, Nick Rusnov (nickr) suggested "someone will have to make a Python FO engine or else install java." . Derek said "i am somewhat of an old skool postscript wizard - and im HIGHLY likely to instead go straight from XML to raw postscript as we have a python libary for postscript" . Jason Cater (jcater) thought this "would take ENTIRELY too long to write" Nick asked "is FO really that complex? surely its mappable to TeX or something" ?

Jason said that "the html and text markups are quick little scripts dneighbo did" , so "writing other output formats will be trivial" . Derek noted that "with nickrs help most of that report for html has css (so any html person) could alter it without touching any real 'code' or xslt style sheets" . Eventually, "our designer will allow you to drag and drop to create reports - i will go out on a limb and say after we nail some basic reports and iron out some kinks that will be probably high on the list of next steps" . For client/server access, "fairly quickly we should support clients that can talk some form of RPC (CORBA or XML-RPC etc) to talk to it" .

Jason confirmed that he had not implemented triggers in GNUe Reports yet - "that'll be 0.0.2" , but "I feel I have enough to justify a first release" . Talli felt "well, a free reports app is certainly among the holy grails in the free software world" . Nick said "perl has EXCELLENT report generation stuff - that people rarely use - which is silly, cause thats what perl is FOR" . Neither Derek nor Jason were keen on perl as a dependancy.

For the column width tags, Derek was "thinking it will be a lot easier to do width="" on each tag like you had it before - but we can make the 'designer' do the work - i.e. if in a header row you set a width it sets teh width for all its children" . Jason said that was possible - "just seems redundant" . Derek clarified that you could use Reports without Designer - indeed, as of time of writing you had to - "you could certainly use emacs or vi or anything that would let you edit flat text or xml" . Talli said "we've had many clients begging for reports, so this will certainly be something that will be on our radar" .

17. Using DCL for GNU Enterprise bug/feature tracking

14�Apr�2002�-�15�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Apr 2002"

Topics: DCL

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

Derek Neighbors said that DCL (as set up for bug/feature tracking on the GNU Enterprise project) sent e-mail updates to people who raised logs directly via their own DCL account, but not (as of time of writing) for logs raised via the e-mail gateway - "thats somethign i want to add" . Michael Dean (mdean) said "that could be done, as long as the From: field matches the email in the personnel table" . Derek, in the best recursive traditions of GNU, raised a work order on DCL for this functionality to be added to DCL. He asked "btw: you have an issue if we maybe shut down the bug stuff on sourceforge for dcl and route to the gnue version of dcl" ? He wanted "to start showcasing the beauty of dcl :)" . Michael said he would "have to go through it, but would be better to eat own dog food, I guess" . Derek said that DCL was already "rather usable" when "using it for software project (bugs features)" like GNUe and "with MINIMAL work i think we could overcome the issues" .

Later, Derek noted "yummy dcl gateway has been patched - if you send email to it for support with the to: line being the same as what is your user account there - it will log it as submitted by your user account!" .

The next day ( , Jason Cater (jcater) reported "woohoo! I submitted my first DCL patch today" . He had "added "Mailer:" to his email headers - so I can filter the damn things" in his e-mail client. "Since the From: is always the user's name and the To: is your name - there wasn't much to filter against - at one point, I was searching for [WO#.* in the subject" but now that the GNU Enterprise project was using DCL as well, he couldn't distinguish between work orders from different DCL servers. Derek said "i think here i hacked it to always send from a special account instead of from the 'user' - at some point might want to make that an option - as right now if i get a ticket and hit reply to all it probably emails the original ticket submitter - which in a lot of environments might be good" as "we really want the end users communicating with developers through DCL not individual email :)" .

18. Fixed positioning in GNUe Reports

14�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Apr 2002"

Topics: DCL

People: Bajusz Tam�s,�Jason Cater,�Peter Sullivan,�Nick Rusnov

Bajusz Tam�s (btami) asked how GNUe Reports would work "without x,y positioning - i'v used only fixed pos designers before" . Jason Cater (jcater) said "I've used both - and in my experience, the fixed positions are a quick way to generate reports - but once you need more than they offer - you are kind of stuck" . Peter Sullivan said "i have been anti-fixed positioning since before i used a report tool ;-0 - you have exactly the same problem with simple spreadsheet solutions - fundamentally, y-axis absolute pos breaks as soon as you get an extra row of data" . Nick Rusnov agreed - "at some point you have to say 'this goes here' - but up till that point, imho, you should say 'this is that'" . Jason said "there are instances where physical markup is a necessity - i.e., pre-printed forms - and i plan to allow for those" . He thought "those would probably be different designer wizards - we haven't actually done the designer part yet - but I'd imagine you'd pick from a few choices of "types" of reports" .

19. Upgrading DCL

14�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Apr 2002"

Topics: DCL

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Jason Cater said he had mirrored the new version of DCL to the gnuenterprise website - "thought that'd be appropriate seeing as how he's gnue affiliated and all :)" . Derek Neighbors (dnWork) noted that the only issue with upgrading DCL was "if you allowed uploaded attachments you will need to move those off some where and then move them back - mdean suggests making the attachment directory outside the dcl tree so you dont have to toy with it for upgrades" .

20. Bayonne overview

15�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 16 Apr 2002"

Topics: Bayonne (GNU Comm)

People: Daniel Baumann,�Jason Cater,�Jeff Bailey

It was asked what GNU Bayonne was. Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) explained "well for the enterprise it can be used to do voice mail - touch tone phone systems - like provide a menu" . He wasn't sure about call forwarding. "It basically provides telephony services like what some sophisticated phone system thingy does but with a PC and a telephony phone card" .

Later, Jason Cater (jcater) gave a link ( to information about telephony cards, and confirmed "bayonne can communicate directly with office PBX's - or it can take the place of a PBX - in which you have a complete call switching center on a linux box - you can use it for voice mail (multiline) you could use it for interactive touch-tone menus - including tying back into a database (i.e., pulling up a client's account information via a phone menu) - ou could program autodialers (that work with a PBX or just on a plain old telephone line) - it's a pretty impressive piece of software" . Jeff Bailey (jbailey) said he wasn't aware that Bayonne did "Automatic Call Distribution. Like call queues, and stuff." . Jason said "I'm not sure how much out-of-the-box functionality it can do - it's really an architecture - imho" , based on "conversations with the bayonne guy - I don't know what it will do without a little coercing by a knowledgable staff" .

21. Object modelling in GNUe Application Server

16�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 17 Apr 2002"

Topics: Application Server

People: Daniel Baumann,�Andrew Mitchell

Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) asked "anyone use ERDs?" (Entity Relationship Diagrams). He asked "why does ERD remind me of UML and relationships?" Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) suggested "because it maps directly to it?" . He hoped that eventually GNUe Designer would allow you to "basically design ERDs, select the database to dump the stuff into, then generate tables, and make forms and reports" . Daniel wondered "why would you want to use ERD instead of UML?" Andrew said "ERD is a special type of UML modelling, i think" . Daniel dug up a quote that implied that Entity-Relationship and the Object Model were different approaches - "ERD for 2-tier people - and UML or something for objects that execute on the app server" . Andrew thought that this "means that it has to produce GCDs, and put them in the object repository" . Daniel wasn't sure.

Later, Daniel wondered "if these 2-tier guys even use ERDs - then probably just start making tables - no one bothers with design these days" . Andrew asked whether "you think there should be a standalone app that makes ERDs & then splats out crap via the schema api? or extend designer?" . Daniel felt "ERD isn't really for objects, imho" unless and until they actually got implemented as SQL. However, "sam thing could be said for ODMG's model - they do data schema with ODL and functional with OQL - but you can call methods" . Andrew asked "how we gonna do methods?" . Daniel suggested "very carefully ;)" He suggested "they would make a request - the methods server would look for the method - and load whatever it found at run-time - and execute it" . Andrew suggested that "we should use some of the DotGNU stuff here :)" .

22. Gnumeric and Excel output for GNUe Reports

16�Apr�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 17 Apr 2002"

Topics: Reports

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Jason Cater (jcater) asked about "a gnumeric or such spreadsheet xslt script for our arsenal?" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said he had "started a gnumeric.xsl already - basically i formatted out in gnumeric what i thought report should look like and saved it - and dissected the xml to see" . This produced very verbose output, but "most of them are 'superflous' standard crap - so in essence i dont thing it will be tremendously difficult" . For Microsoft Excel, "its a little USED fact - but excel while it doesnt SAVE to xHTML has full support for it" , so "i planned on going xml ->xslt-> ms excel xhtml" .

Sharon And Joy

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