GNUe Traffic #42 For 17�Aug�2002

By Peter Sullivan

"anyone need a python? a real one, that is - The local reptile sanctuary has a spare 18 foot one looking for a good home - new owner must have plentiful supply of live mice & a swimming pool ;) - maybe I should put them in touch w/the Zope guys - in case they are looking for a kick-ass corporate mascot ..."

Table Of Contents


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

1. Converting from other databases to GNUe and postgresql

9�Aug�2002�-�10�Aug�2002 (3 posts) Archive Link: "New user"

Topics: Designer, Forms

People: Robert Jenkins,�Derek Neighbors,�Ryan Grange,�Andrew Mitchell

Robert Jenkins said he was aiming "to replace an existing networked database, currently running on Dataease 4.53, with a postgres based system" , explaining "The database I'm hoping to replace has around 25 forms, ranging from one to five screens worth of data, many of which use a number of virtual fields displaying data extracted from other related tables." He thought "what I'm trying to achieve fits in fairly well with the gnue project" but was not sure how advanced the tools were - "with just a fairly brief look at the designer, I don't even know if this requires an existing database structure, or if it can create / manipulate tables to suit the forms it creates (as Dataease does)..." . Derek Neighbors said that "GNUe should be good for this" , adding that Robert "will pick up Python quicker than you could ever imagine" given his experience of C and other programming languagues. He noted "Currently designer doesnt 'manage' db tables. So you would need to create the structure with something else (like pgadmin). If your dataease db has an odbc driver you could simply using the dbmigration tool in pgadmin and it will create all the tables for you." The main focus at the moment was to get more users, although any help on the development side would be welcome too - "I think you will like GNUe." Ryan Grange said he was also "looking at GNUe's capabilities myself for a friend of mine who'd like to run an ecommerce site and have it tie into an accounting system. GNUe may be overkill for what he's trying to do at the moment, but if it's easy enough to manage, then feature overkill hardly matters when the startup price is just education and configuration. He may grow into needing the more advanced features later anyway."

Meanwhile, on IRC ( , it was asked how to migrate FoxPro applications to Linux. Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) noted "foxpro uses some mutant dbf format, which can be exported to a real DB" . For the application/clients, "from that db you can build forms, etc, to replace what is needed - which sucks if it's a big app" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) suggested "install postgresql - then on windows box install pgadmin2 - then install odbc driver for foxpro on that box. via pgadmin2 you can convert all your data/tables/queries etc from foxpro to postgres via point and click - then once everything is in postgres just write forms for the tables and such. Conversely you could go the other way - and write gnue screens for your foxpro tables - using odbc driver from gnue. Though i would suggest getting rid of the foxpro tables first as they are 'weak' ;)"

2. Customer Relationship Management in GNUe and DCL

9�Aug�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 10 Aug 2002"

Topics: Customer Relations, DCL

People: Charles Rouzer,�Dmitry Sorokin,�ra3vat

On CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in GNUe, Charles Rouzer (Mr_You) said "if you are looking for complete packages it may take a while for GNUe to do that.. but the purpose of GNUe is to make applications very easily.. the designer interface is easy to use" . If "you want CRM for internal tracking purposes" then "DCL can handle internal tracking.. with remote customers submitting tickets/work orders.." Dmitry Sorokin (ra3vat) noted that "there is binary build of gnue tools for win32 you can easily get working in a minutes" .

3. i18n Date Masks in Forms

9�Aug�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 10 Aug 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Arturas Kriukovas,�Peter Sullivan,�James Thompson

Further to Issue�#41, Section�#6� (1�Aug�2002:�i18n Date Masks in Forms) , Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) asked "how long does it usually take up for the patch, sent through to appear in source? /me is eager to see the biggest change in GNUe :)" Peter Sullivan (psu), referring to Issue�#41, Section�#1� (31�Jul�2002:�Problems with GNU Enterprise website) , said "remember that the addresses are'nt delivering at the moment - if you sent it recently, I would re-send to jamest and jasonat their "real" e-mail addresses" . Arturas said his patch to " file completely rewrited class responsible for handling dates - dates should be i18n'ed. Or maybe i can simply commit to cvs? this is a big change, but it's form specific and it works (at least for me :)" James Thompson (jamest) said "i'm thinking the only thing we should do before you commit it is run it past jcater as he's "da man" in the display handler section" .

4. GNUe at open source e-Government conference

10�Aug�2002�-�12�Aug�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 11 Aug 2002"

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Charles Rouzer,�Jason Cater,�Stan Klein,�Nick Rusnov

Further to Issue�#41, Section�#7� (4�Aug�2002:�GNUe at open source e-Government conference) , Charles Rouzer (Mr_You) said "I'm gonna plan on going to that e-gov deal in washington - its close enough to drive to" . Jason Cater (jcater) said that Stan Klein (sklein) "will be there, iirc - and I think stbain was gonna try to help" . Charles said "its something I'm interested in - GNUe being used in governments" .

Two days later ( , Stan Klein (sklein) made contact with Charles - "jcater emailed me that you might be interested in being a co-presenter at the event in DC (see kernel cousin for details)" He would "send you my draft for the demo abstract. I will need a bio and/or resume" . Charles asked "does co-presenter mean getting on stage? I qualify for that? hehe" . Stan explained "the presentation is a gnue demo" Charles had "thought they were going to be held at booths" . Stan explained "They are having a set of "plenary sessions" of 90 minutes each with 4 speakers/demos to a session - I understand derek is doing a demo for LinuxWorld We can do the same demo (or an improved version of it" . Nick Rusnov (nickr) asked "are you saying derek's presentation would be less than perfect?" Stan clarified "no, that by October it could get better" . Charles said "I'm expecting by then I'll have my first completed install, dunno how functional it will be but should be ok - I need web forms more than anything - so I might hack on php web forms client if I see I can" .

5. Point-of-Sale systems for GNUe

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

Topics: Financials (Accounting)

People: Jason Cater

Jason Cater (jcater) said he had been "researching Point-of-Sale systems and found:" , which listed GNU Enterprise as one of the financial systems "they intend to support" .

6. Status of GNUe Financials and Supply Chain packages

12�Aug�2002 (3 posts) Archive Link: "Financials/Supply Chain Status?"

Topics: Financials (Accounting), Supply Chain

People: Lee Hughes,�Derek Neighbors

Lee Hughes asked about "the status of the Financials and Supply Chain (esp. Inventory Control) modules? I have a client in need who is a great candidate for open source..." . Derek Neighbors said "They are not ready to ship, the framework to build them exists. We are doing some solutions that are doing inventory control, shipping, invoicing etc, but we do not have time lines on them at this point."

7. Installing GNUe on Mandrake GNU/Linux

12�Aug�2002�-�14�Aug�2002 (2 posts) Archive Link: "Installing on Mandrake?"

People: Ryan Grange,�Derek Neighbors,�Derek Neighors,�Stan Klein

Ryan Grange said he was "close to having this system configured to run on a Mandrake system, but could use guidance in determining what I may be missing and what RPMs might have accomplished what I ended up using tarballs to acieve." Derek Neighbors said that the main dependancies for GNUe were:

He noted "We do not have rpms for GNUe yet but we take patches. All dependencies should not only be available via RPM but should be included on the Mandrake and Red Hat distribution CDs."

Stan Klein said "I run Red Hat 7.2 and the distribution CDs don't carry wxPython or mxDateTime. I had to download those from the appropriate sites." He thought it would be good if "some of the dependencies were available on a GNUe-related web site" as had been the case in the past. Also, mxDateTime did not follow "the Linux Standards Base that specifies where things go" which meant "I had to go in and create a link from where mxDateTime actually installed to where it was expected to be under the Red Hat 7.2 installation rules." Mandrake might be the same.

8. acclite and NOLA

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

Topics: Financials (Accounting)

People: Derek Neighbors,�Micah Yoder

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) explained the background to acclite - the possible fork of NOLA being worked on by some members of the GNU Enteprise team, as referred to in Issue�#39, Section�#10� (21�Jul�2002:�Current status of acclite/NOLA) . "Basically to start we cleaned up the" NOLA "code (directory structure and such)" - "then converted schema to postgres so didnt have to use mysql - and have started to test those changes" . He noted that Micah Yoder (MicahY) "was/is working on basically making gnue screens for the backend - some of the account management stuff has screens" done as of time of writing. "if you want working postgres NOLA you can get it from our acclite (our nola cvs for now until we merge back our changes)" . He confirmed that eventually acclite/NOLA would run off GNUe Application Server "though its not scheduled for our first round of 'goals'" . There was no specific acclite mailing list, as "we really dont want a fork at this point" and were still hopeful that NOLA's owners would adopt the changes - "if we do a list and such it looks like we are brute forking it" . The only reason they had even set up a separate CVS was "more than one person was doing them so we needed it" . He felt "quite frankly its likely it will be fork as they may choose to not accept it - though they seemed interested so we arent ruling it out" . He confirmed that NOLA (and hence acclite) was "US based so follows US accounting practices" .

9. Unicode support in wxGTK

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

Topics: Forms

People: Derek Neighbors,�Arturas Kriukovas

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) cut and pasted some information from the wxGTK project about the "first functional Unicode support for wxGTK in CVS. You will need GTK 2.0 from and some recent version of FreeType from" Printing was still an issue, and there were several kludges and links needed to get it to compile. However, this would form a useful base for some of the work Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) was doing with unicode and i18n.

10. Using PRE-INSERT trigger to increment primary keys

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

Topics: Forms

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) was having issues using "postgres autoinsert id" in GNUe, "which is used for most of my demos" . Jason Cater (jcater) felt that "autoinsert ids are the spawn of satan - why do you use them so much?" Derek said "um i dont see much of another way w/o even more issues at this point - i need incremented key. NORMALLY i do this via a table - not db internal 'autokey' thing - but thats even more evil in gnue currently and why i switched to the other way (as jamest provided a hack for it)" . Jason provided some sample code showing how to use a PRE-INSERT trigger on an entry to get the next incremented key value from another table. Derek said "this code use to not belong inside an entry but rather just inside a <datasource>" . Jason said "you mean a <block> - it works there too - only instead of "self." you have "field."" Derek confirmed this was now working.

11. GNUe at Linux World Expo

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

Topics: Why GNUe?

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

Jason Cater (jcater) confirmed he had got printed copies of a new general GNUe brochure and flyers for each of the GNUe tools, which he would send to Derek at Linux World Expo in San Fransisco - "the flyers r0x0r - the brochure could be better - but I have 0 time :)" . Arriving at the convention, Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) reported that the GNUe booth was "buried in the back of the dum corner" , but he hoped that things would get better.

Later, he reported "talking to CEO of linuxfund earlier about a grant - he said he thought we already submitted one i said nope - he said no i know you did cause it almost won - im like nope - he went and looked and and said yep we did as an lburkman - we both got a good laugh, he said we hsould resubmit" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "thanks lburkman! - you're my hero ;P" Derek said he "definitely will consider submitting one now an extra 500-1000 would help do shows like this and pay for marketing stuff" .

The next day ( , Derek pointed to " - the java competition - there is quite a buzz here about them (LWE)" . Nick Rusnov (nickr) noted they were "very buzzword compliant - J2EE! XML!" . Derek noted "yeah the xforms ( chair stopped by as well and wants to work to see if we can make gnue use xforms spec and possibly help us get on the committee so we have a voice - which could be interesting. A publisher ( also agreed to publish a GNUe book if we author one :)" . He explained xforms was a "w3c spec" which had been suggested as a format for GNUe Forms by Daniel - "the 1.0 spec will release this week" . Nick felt "this is very similar to TransForms" .

12. Freedom issues for GNUe with Java and J2EE

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

Topics: Why GNUe?, Application Server

People: Dan Bethe,�Christian Selig,�Daniel Baumann

Dan Bethe (dtm) said he had "introduced gnue to some enterprise developers and they've remarked that at a glance, it looks like it wants to redevelop j2ee in python. is that in any way accurate?" Christian Selig (lupo_) claimed "gnue is j2ee done right, hehe - seriously, gnue lacks the "streamlinedness" at the moment - and the completeness :)" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said that "I guess one culd say that, however if j2ee were Free then possibly we wouldn't be doing what we're doing" . Dan asked "well how far is it from being Free? basically would Sun have to totally change its behavior or its licensing or both or what?" Christian said "i think that even if j2ee was free, there would still be a reason to develop gnue. (hint: java) - nothing Free in FSF sense in Java" . As well as freedom issues, Daniel noted that Java was not "real popular in GNUe land as a language" from a technical point of view.

Daniel noted that several people were developing free J2EE-compatible application servers, as previously discussed in Issue�#32, Section�#1� (27�May�2002:�Freedom issues with using Compiere as an alternative to GNUe) - "jboss and tomcat are the 2" - but "even they can't get J2EE certified though for some reason or another" . Dan said his understanding was "that jboss is state of the art and in many ways way ahead - not unlike how apache is against other web servers or linux, etc" .

Christian said that the main freedom issue with Java itself was not the JITs (virtual machines, but the dependance on non-free libraries. Dan asked "is the FSF-style mentality consistantly against relying squarely on java as an underlying framework?" Daniel suggested "just non-free Java - i.e., things that there is no free equivalent" - although to be fair, GNUe developers were not keen on Java as a language even if the freedom issues could be resolved. However, "there's no free j2ee implementation and I don't think jboss can get j2ee certified...I don't recall why probably has t do with the cost of getting j2ee blessed" . Dan asked "ok but it essentially is j2ee, right?" .

Dan said "i've heard basically of python being able to replace java in all technical sense" . Christian agreed - "python is imho a 100% java replacement, but with better quality :)" He was not convinced that even Java was that scalable - "java can't really meet high-capacity demands. have you ever seen a porn site using java?" This somewhat inevitably lead the rest of the discussion rapidly off-topic.

Sharon And Joy

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