GNUe Traffic #47 For 21�Sep�2002

By Peter Sullivan

"anyone know where I can find a Tux costume for halloween? /me would prefer to be the FreeBSD devil, but tux is probably more appropriate - or I could be the GNU Hurd - but I haven't found a cloak of invisibility yet"

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. Window options in Designer

12�Sep�2002�-�17�Sep�2002 (2 posts) Archive Link: "GNUe Designer Differs from Screen Shots"

Topics: Designer

People: Alfredo Ricafort,�Derek Neighbors

Alfredo Ricafort had installed the GNUe tools, but "when I compared the screens of my Designer with the screens shots in the GNUe website, I found a big difference. The Designer screen shots have a tree applet/window on its left side and a designer pad on the right. What I'm getting is a tool bar at the top, a tab window in the middle, and 6 fields at the bottom." Derek Neighbors said "You should be able to get to them from a menu option. Specifically Window-> Property Inspector, Object Navigator, Event Editor, Datasource Editor, Schema Navigator. These are checkable menuable items that will be remembered at next startup (iirc)" .

2. GNUe on Sparc

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

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: John Lenton,�Peter Sullivan

John Lenton (Chipaca) asked "has anyone tried gnue on linux on sparc? it seems to break in new, improved ways" , before realising "it was the that had the wrong encoding :/ - /me blushes" . Peter Sullivan (psu) noted that "multi-platform was one of the reasons for using python - along with multi-UI - multi-DB" and "oh, multi-lang trigger support - some of these are targets rather than now - but the basic GNUe motto is "we work with the weird crap you already have"" .

3. GNUe Documentation

11�Sep�2002�-�15�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 12 Sep 2002"

Topics: Bayonne, Forms, Application Server, Common

People: Phil Cole,�Peter Sullivan,�Daniel Baumann,�James Thompson,�Jan Ischebeck,�Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater

Phil Cole (filc) said he was "just reading the Forms docs...." - "Is there a glossary anywhere for all these acronyms?" Peter Sullivan (psu) said "not as such - Kernel Cousins is probably the best source - as I try to explode acronyms wherever possible" , adding that "a GNUe acronyms list would make a cool addition to the website - Care to submit a patch? ;-)" Phil said "OK. I'll keep a list of them as I'm perusing through the docs, and if it's decent I'll submit it. Erm... it'll be plain text for the moment because I don't know docbook or anything like that" . Peter said that was fine - "/me_is_an_HTML_kinda_guy/index.html" .

Later, Phil asked "What is the official acronym - Is it GNUE or GNUe?" Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "GNUe - GNU Enterprise - our logo has a little e" . Phil asked "So... patches for GNUE -> GNUe are ok? ;)" Daniel was not sure "if we are that picky though - perhaps you should talk to our marketing department/director ;) (i.e., Derek ;) )" Phil said "I'm a fusspott. :)"

Phil asked what parameters were used to build the docbook documentation. Daniel said "use db2* where * is the format you want, e.g., db2html, db2pdf, etc. - db2html main.sgml" Phil asked "Any objections to me trying to add the generation of the docs as part of the No guarantees that I'll manage to do it though" . Daniel thought "that's probably a decent idea - go for it" . Phil reported "getting somewhere .... I'm checking that people have db2html, is this pretty standard?" James Thompson (jamest) said "that solaris doesn't include it - it's an option under debian" . Phil asked "where - by default would you want your docs installed if running from cvs ?" James said that "installed gnue puts it's user config in $HOME/.gnue so I'd be tempted to put the docs in $HOME/gnue/docs" . Phil said he would send a patch.

Some days later ( , Phil asked "Is EWOK" (Enterprise Wide Office Kommunication) "now known as GNUe Integrator ?" Peter Sullivan (psu) said "EWOK was never more than a proposal, IIRC - Was replaced by the seperate Bayonne project" .

Phil said he was "updating the "Introduction for Developers Docs"" - "Having most trouble with the "Architecture" part - Application and ICL both seem to be GNUe Forms" . Peter said "well, there are (both in theory and practice), different versions of GNUe Forms i.e. GNUe Forms as we know it (wxpython) is just "an" implementation of GNUe Forms, not "the"" . As well as this, "we have a (broken) curses (text-only) Forms client which I believe Gontran was looking at fixing and the phpForms client that Jan did some work on before getting lured into working on Appserver" . In addition to these, "most other popular and obscure langs and UIs" had been proposed at some time. "In effect, a Forms client is anything that can parse .gfd (GNUe Forms Definition) files and produce an interface of some sort for the end-user to interact with" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) felt that this section of the documentation needed "a 90% rewrite" - "there should be 1) Backend (RDBMS, etc) provided by postgres,sapdb... accessed by GEDI" (GNUe Enterprise Data Integrator) "2) middleware (optional) provided by appserver - 3) client/thin client provided by forms" . It would also "be important to say something about gnue-common in there. I.e. that gnue-common provides the connection between the different levels, i.e it provides GEDI/database abstraction (used by appserver(3-tier) /forms (2-tier)) and GNURPC i.e. RPC-abstraction (connection between appserver and forms, or reports and reports server)" . He noted that "applications code/buisness rules can be moved into 1+3 (i.e. two-tier) or in 2 (three-tier)" . Phil asked how you would store business rules in the database. Jan said "In 1 business rules would be stored procedures or triggers in the database :)" However, "if you want to have real buisness rules you have to use appserver :)"

Some days later ( , Phil asked "about the patch for I sent" to use db2html to automatically generate the documentation. Derek Neighbors (derek) said "i went to commmit it" but "you were checking for docbook or something" . Phil confirmed "yep checking for db2html in the path" . Derek did not think "we should require that to build" the application as a whole. Jason Cater (jcater) said he had applied the patch - "all it does is check if db2html exists - if it does, it asks if you want to install docs - I modified it to default to "N" - as it takes a while" . Everyone was happy with this. Jason added "I would prefer to have a script in the docbook directory that built all docs and just point the user there if they want it isntead of - but until then this works for the time being" .

4. Format for loading Application Server object definitions

12�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 13 Sep 2002"

Topics: Application Server

People: Ariel Cal�,�Jason Cater,�Jan Ischebeck,�Daniel Baumann

Further to Issue�#46, Section�#21� (8�Sep�2002:�Format for loading Application Server object definitions) , Ariel Cal� (ariel__) said he did not think that the GNUe Schema Definition (.gsd) file format "will be enaugh for describing business objects, i think there will be another format (based on xml) that parsed will give gsd" . Jason Cater (jcater) said "gsd isn't meant to describe business objects" just schema. Ariel asked, if the old GNUe Class Definition (.gcd) format used by the previous incarnation of GNUe Application Server (GEAS) "is dead, long life to what?" Jason said "good question - we haven't gotten that far" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) said that "gsd is XML and gsd can be a starting point for more. f.e. we can first use it to describe and build tables which are provided by appserver and which are used by appserver. afterwards appserver will use it only to describe the tables in relational databases appserver is using - but i think the really "object oriented" appserver will have a version number higher than 1.0 :)" Ariel suggested "a language (say gbd :( gnue business definition) that is based on xml but has features lke gcd. parsing it will give: 1) a fixed definition of meta-tables (in gsd) - 2) filling the meta-tables (in gsd) - 3) definition of the tables for the actual objects (in gsd) - 4) eventually other things" . Jason felt "this is a ways off" Jan noted that Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) was "working on godl which would provide a super set of the features you are speaking off. At the moment we need a kind of gsd + calculated field definitions + method definitions. Oh, and a way to define types, I think that is the most important point in the" replacement format for the old .gcd files.

5. Running a form from code

12�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 13 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Marcos Dione,�James Thompson,�Jason Cater

Marcos Dione (StyXman) asked "should I do something before calling runForm in GFClient? the ui seems to not be setup. the only place I see it being resolved is in run..." James Thompson (jamest) said he had not "had a chance to look into the code - but IIRC you passed the form in via the run command" . Marcos explained "I needed runForm because that, since" Jason Cater (jcater) "added a way to pass parameters to forms" (as discussed in Issue�#46, Section�#20� (8�Sep�2002:�Passing parameters to Forms) ) "it's the only way to run a form from code (that is not a trigger) instead that using gfcvs - I also needed to move the initializatrion of the user interface outside the run method" . He would talk to Jason about this.

6. Python path on Microsoft Windows

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

People: Jan Ischebeck,�Arturas Kriukovas

While working further on Issue�#45, Section�#3� (23�Aug�2002:�Setting up CVS versions of GNUe on Microsoft Windows) , Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked "how can I get the python path on win32? i.e. in normal cases this should be C:\python21" . Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) said "i'm not sure that i understand what you need; but there is variable called PATH that should hold pyhton's path" . Jan explained "I need a way to access the directory where the config files are stored. On Unix I just use os.environ["HOME"]+"gnue/etc/connections.conf" - On windows I just want to replace that os.environ["HOME"] by something else. And if I remeber right the settings are stored in C:\python21\gnue\etc\connections.conf - oh, seems, that sys.prefix provides something useful" .

7. GNU Enterprise Archive (.gear) files for package management

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

People: Jan Ischebeck,�Jason Cater,�Peter Sullivan,�Daniel Baumann,�Reinhard M�ller,�Derek Neighbors

Jan Ischebeck (siesel) said "I really need a package format. i want to give my users two files to download. i.e. forms-setup.exe (or debian) and a and they can use the application without any configuration" . Jason Cater (jcater) said he had "been thinking a lot about that - I think we need, at a basic level, the equivalent of java's jar files" He "thinks python's standard library includes support for reading some archive files like zip, tar, etc - since python natively handles one of those file types on all platforms (we need to verify) I think we should start out with that" . Jan noted that "the zipfile (provides access to zip) library is optional (i.e. I dunno if it supported on both win32 and unix)" . Jason wished "we knew how often people had python without the zipfile support" . Alternatively, "I wonder about using a dbm-type file for our packaging" as "it seems python always includes at least a "dumbdbm" implementation - not sure how practical that would be storing files though.... just a thought" .

Jan said "I think I finally understand why you mentioned .jar files. do you probably just don't extract it, but call all forms etc. from within?" Jason felt "something like that would be cool - maybe it's too premature to do that - but it would make packaging and redistribution really easy" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) suggested they should be called par files (for package archive), but Peter Sullivan (psu) suggested "gear files ;-)" - "GNU Enterprise ARchive" files. Several people tried using the GEAR acronym in various phrases to see if it sounded cool enough.

Jan noted "to implement that .jar file thing, we would just need to patch that openResource procedure a bit :)" Jason agreed - "it would be that easy - /me forgot everything uses the openResource call" Jan said "it would be something like opening a url like "gear://accounting_base/currency/currency.gfd" - which would access the file currency.gfd at path currency/ in the accounting_base.gear file" . This would make using Navigator easy, "because the path wouldn't change" . Jason agreed - "the packager could change absolute references to gear:// references - of course, if you use the Project support (when it comes about) in Designer, it'll handle it too :)" . Jan thought "that packages need a special file which descibes the content of the package and on which packages it depends" Daniel felt this "sounds like a deb ;)" Jan agreed - "only it's a gear! :)" - "/me just don't know if that special file could be in the same format as a project definition file? which would make packaging quite easy :)"

The next day ( , Jan asked "where should be the repository for GEAR files?" Peter preferred ~/gnue/package over ~/gnue/gear "as makes it easier to guess what a gear file is w/o having to RTFM" . Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) asked "we're discussing already how to distribute our unlayed eggs? :)" Jan said he had written "a patch to read gfd/grd etc. from a zip file. I.e. installing apps is just moving the GEAR file into your repository - you can even open a gear with navigator and a GPD file representing the GEAR content is created on the fly."

Some days later ( , Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) asked "what is gear?" Daniel replied "our super duper packaing format for gnue files" - "like Java has jar, we have gear" . Derek "doesnt like much of anything that starts 'like java's .....' ;)" . Jason explained "I can put all" the gnue resources for a particular project "in a .gear file and change the file references in the Navigator .gpd from absolute to gear:// - and all the GNue tools can work - just like it was a normal file on my system" .

8. Finding out the default values used without gnue.conf

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

People: Phil Cole,�Peter Sullivan,�Jason Cater

Further to Issue�#46, Section�#11� (5�Sep�2002:�gnue.conf file now optional) , Phil Cole (filc) asked "can the stuff about copying gnue.conf be removed from now that gnue.conf is optional?" Peter Sullivan (psu) suggested "well, it's only optional if all the default values the app assumes are acceptable - which, for anyone using a non-US character set, is immediately untrue" . Jason Cater (jcBookstore) explained "by running any of the client tools with the --configuration-options flag it will give you a formatted list of all valid options and the default value" .

9. Debian packages for DCL

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

Topics: DCL

People: Derek Neighbors,�Peter Sullivan

Derek Neighbors was looking at the Debian packages for DCL and was "curious if /usr/share/dcl/ is where the 'application' goes and /etc/dcl is where the config stuff goes. If i want to store data (like attachments) where is the proper place? (re: debian)" Peter Sullivan (psu) referred to Issue�#37, Section�#3� (4�Jul�2002:�Debian packages for DCL) , saying there had been "a long discussion about where the Debianised DCL should put attatchments" - the consensus had been to put them in /var/spool, as they represented work to be done in the future, as per the Debian guidelines. Derek said "for now i put that stuff in /var/tmp/dcl/tmp/ - the temp files - certainly we can move it to spool easily. The other stuff is permanent - so shouldnt be in sppol" .

10. Using Forms to edit connections.conf file

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

Topics: Forms, Common

People: Jan Ischebeck

Further to Issue�#46, Section�#20� (8�Sep�2002:�Passing parameters to Forms) , Jan Ischebeck (siesel) noted "Its also possible now to edit the connection.conf file via forms."

11. GNUe developers meeting in Germany

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

People: Jan Ischebeck,�Christian Selig,�Reinhard M�ller,�Jason Cater

Referring to Issue�#46, Section�#3� (4�Sep�2002:�GNUe developers meeting in Germany) , Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked "anything new about that european gnue conference? you said you have a place, the next step would be a date..." Christian Selig (lupo) said he did not "have yet a specific date for the meeting but i think the meeting will take place somewhen this year" . Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) had agreed to come if he had enough notice. Christian "already have a gratis cable modem connection for the days, as well as some other guy who's interested in the appserver stuff"

Some days later ( , Reinhard announced that "Arturas, siesel, JohannesV and me have just decided to meet" in real life - "we will meet at the Linux World Expo in Frankfurt which takes place October 29-31" . He invited any other interested developers in Europe to get in touch. Jason Cater (jcater) worried "are you guys forming a coup? :)" Reinhard said "of course if somebody from outside of europe wants to come - he will be our special guest :)" .

12. Using curses.panel to support text-only Forms clients

14�Sep�2002�-�17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 15 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Phil Cole,�Daniel Baumann,�Jason Cater,�Nick Rusnov,�James Thompson,�Marcos Dione,�Gontran Zepeda

Referring to nstti, the abstraction of curses that Gontran Zepeda (gontran) had been looking at using to further develop the text-only GNUe Forms client, as discussed in Issue�#30, Section�#6� (19�May�2002:�Curses (text-only) Forms client using nstti) and previous threads, Phil Cole (filc) reported that "nstti does not work on redhat7.3 (python2.2 rpm) ..." However, he had tested it "on debian 3.0 and it's fine !! both python2.1 and python2.2" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "debian rocks man ;) - is it a good thing you have deadcat around for testing though - no developers here uses it ;)" . Phil felt that "if gnue is going to be for big corps then it needs to run on deadcat - since that's where the support contracts are" . Daniel was not convinced.

The next day ( , Phil asked "any objections to using curses.panel ( module, seems to work better than some of the hacks in nstti" ? Jason noted that "curses.panel doesn't appear to be in Python 2.0" - "when we started doing the NSTTI support, there was no curses.panel" . This would mean "we just state that to use Curses interfacem, you must have python 2.1 installed" , as opposed to the normal minimum of python 2.0. Later, he asked "so, are you going to have our curses support working in time for the weekend release?" Phil said he "very very very much doubt it :) - still learning python, GNUe, curses and nstti... so probably not" .

Later, Jason confirmed that the cvs code at forms/src/uidrivers/nstti was the most recent version - "someone else was working on that - but I haven't seen them in quite a while" . Nick Rusnov (nickr) noted "curses programming in python is suspiciously painless." . Later, Phil asked "grrrr.. how do you get vi to autoindent in tabs..." James Thompson (jamest) helpfully suggested "alias vi emacs" . Phil noted that "parts of this file are tabs, others are spaces..." and asked "is there a policy?" Jason said not, "but tradition dictates 2 spaces" - however, "we won't turn away contributions - well, as long as they follow our goals" . Phil said he was "pretty much removing SIOControl from nstti - color sucks" . He explained "Screen I/O Control.... basically handles any screen printing/color/non-ascii chars - It assumed only one window - and that isn't the case with curses.panel" .

Later, Phil asked "What's the max extent of a form... i.e. is there standard room left for rows a menubar, or a form title? /me guesses 80x24" . He also "found why nstti doesn't work on RedHat... it's actually gnome-terminal's fault, konsole, xterm are ok" .

The next day ( , Phil asked "Are these the only widgets currently supported, GFLabel, GFBox, GFPage, GFForm, GFButton & GFScrollbar?" Marcos Dione (StyXman) added "GFEntry" and asked "you doing nstti code?" Phil said he was "trying... got it changed over to use curses.panel ok, but I think the character processing in nstti needs to be changed - a control can't handle anything it's not told about, I think I should make it bubble down keypresses to the page or window underneath. This will allow changing of page (say CTRL-arrowleft/right) or menu (say Ctrl-M)" .

The next day ( , Phil asked "how "moving" the focus works. - In wx and gtk the form is initialised and when activated the "mainloop" is started - How then does GNUe forms control tab/focus order?" Jason Cater (jcater) explained "gtk and wx are UI toolkits - part of their responsibility is controlling focus/tab order - we do intercept their attempts to move the focus and create a nextEntry event" . Phil said that, to replicate this, "I think I need re-do the focus/tab side of nstti - /me is checking out curses libform - /me sees you've already been down this road - pyncurses!!"

13. Running a report from a form trigger

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

Topics: Reports, Forms

People: Jan Ischebeck,�Jason Cater

Jan Ischebeck (sisel) asked "Is there a way to create a report out of a forms trigger?" Jason Cater (jcater) replied "at the moment: sys.execute() - in the near future (tm): we need a runreport method" . Jan reported "btw. at the moment reports seems to be broken, is that right or did I just call it wrong?" Jason said "um - I'm using reports" from CVS HEAD "in production now - but I'm using the merge feature, so I suppose other parts could be broken" .

14. New releases of GNUe Tools

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

Topics: Application Server, Reports, Designer

People: Jason Cater,�Jan Ischebeck,�Derek Neighbors,�Reinhard M�ller

Jason Cater (jcater) said "we are looking at doing a release of several of the tools by the end of the week - do you think appserver is ready for a next point-release?" He noted "reports will probably only go up to 0.0.2 (not 0.1.0) - I've done a lot of stability fixes in reports, but nothing truly groundbreaking" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) said "the next step for appserver would be 0.0.2 but some features mentioned in the ROADMAP for 0.0.2 are not ready" . Derek Neighbors (derek) suggested "feature releases should be x.x.0 - bug releases shoudl be x.x.X" but "until you get into minor version numbers i would say its up to you :)" Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said "FWIW I don't think that we had much progress in appserver since 0.0.1" . However, Jan felt "appserver should released together with the rest, because there is an important fix in RPC abstraction" . Derek agreed there was "little harm in releasing - as long as SOMETHING has changed" . Jason said "ok, but 0.0.2... is that the final answer?" Jan noted "acording to the ROADMAP it should be a, but I think its easier to change the roadmap :)" . Several people tried to produce even more dotted or hyphenated version numbers.

Reinhard said "if there was a fix then i am ok with 0.0.2 if somebody can do the necessary work for the release - i.e. check that documentation is up to date, update changelog, write announcement, write NEWS file" . Jason said he "was going to take responsibility for the release procedures i.e., changelog, announcements, et al - although someone else will need to help with the actual docs wrt if they are out of date or not" . Jan said "I will do some appserver code cleanup this week." . Jason made the official announcement that "We will be attempting a release of the tools by weeks end. If you are aware of outstanding bugs that are not in DCL, please report them. (Or better yet, send a patch!)" Also, "if there are any win32 users out here please test the gnue-forms clients - we have odd reports of problems that we are having a hard time tracking down - so more confirmations of them would help :)"

Later, Jan asked "jcater: will you do some more work on designer before release?" Jason said "a little - at a minimum, I'm moving schema.parser into common.schema - plus of course bugfixes" . Jan asked whether "I don't need to send some obvious bug reports to dcl ?" Jason said "it couldn't hurt - as I haven't sat down to test designer yet - so having a known bug list will give me an idea of how much time I need to set aside" .

15. Bayonne does not depend on GNUe

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

Topics: Bayonne

People: Nicholas Lee,�Dan Bethe

It was asked whether GNU Enterprise had to be set up in order to use Bayonne. Nicholas Lee (esands) said "check out they have some IVR" (Interactive Voice Response) "information (bayonne + others) and some kit that works in linux/bsd." Dan Bethe (dtm) confirmed "no you dont need GNUe in order to use Bayonne. and you can test Bayonne using only a soundcard and no telephony equipment" - at least for initial installation and testing.

16. SQL and sqlite

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

Topics: Common

People: Daniel Baumann,�Nick Rusnov,�Jason Cater,�Phil Cole

Nick Rusnov (nickr) asked some basic SQL queries, prompting Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) to "/me smacks nickr with an SQL For Dummies book :)" . Nick felt "for all its worts, sql is a pretty good language." Jason Cater (jcater) agreed - "the cool thing about sql is I can teach it to my power users and get them out of my hair when they need custom queries :)" Nick noted that "Interestingly, sqlite supports unions and such - useful." Phil Cole (filc) noted "I've tried to do that... it's ok for single table queries... but just watch the queries blow for multitable stuff where they forget to link the tables" . Nick said "sqlite consistantly suprises me as to how much power it has in its query engine" . Jason, sniffing the possibility of another database driver to add to GNUe Common, asked "are you using sqlite w/gnue ?" Nick said "No - but I am using it with python. The python bindings follow the db spec, though - er, the 2.0 db api or whatever" .

17. E-mail gateway for DCL and attatchments

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

Topics: DCL

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Stan Klein

Derek Neighbors (derek) noted that "we need to get contributors DCL accounts and start routing items through there instead of - so you can get real time status of it - specifically we really need dcl email gateway back up" . He "will prod jcater on it later to see where its at ( i think i set up the necessary temp directories and such) but i think the email aliases and the perl code needs be implemented" . A prodded Jason Cater (jcater) said "those are there already - iirc it was just a temp directory issue" . Derek said that Stan Klein had reported problems with the e-mail gateway - he would raise a work order in DCL for it.

Later, Jason reported "the attachments are being saved to /var/tmp/dcl/tmp/ - but they aren't showing up on the DCL screens" . Derek said "then the perl program" which processed the attachments "is failing" . Jason cut and pasted the error message, confirming "it creates the tickets now - just still not the attachments" . They both did some more investigation. Later, Derek said "i wish i knew perl the slighest - i KNOW there is a debug mode (as someone i helped with gateway before used it) and he would basically hand run with it on and send me the logs" .

18. Opening referred tickets in DCL

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

Topics: DCL

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Jason said he had added a feature request for DCL, as when "you are not logged in and you type a URL directly" (or click on a DCL URL in a notification e-mail) then "DCL will redirect you to a login screen" - "as it should do - but it doesn't remember what refered it to the log in page - so it goes directly to the home page. I think DCL should remember the referer - and redirect you there after the login" . Instead "I have to wade thru my tickets/screens finding the ticket I wanted to view" . Derek said "sigh this one pisses people here off too - so consider it done :)" . "i think it should be as easy as grabbing referrer - saving then after login going to referrer" .

19. Multi-table Datasources

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

Topics: Forms

People: John Lenton,�Jason Cater,�Alejandro Pronotti

Referring to Issue�#35, Section�#9� (24�Jun�2002:�Multi-table Datasources) , John Lenton (Chipaca) said that Jason Cater (jcater) had previously "said that table="table1, table2" was ok with you - you preferred a more complex syntax but you agreed it could wait" . Jason said "it was table1.field, table2.field that I am concerned about" - "I'm not saying that's bad - only we didn't discuss that - and I wonder if that's the cleanest solution. I'm not sure yet - as that complicates other parts of the code" . John initially suggested "you're already using table.field elsewhere" , but Jason confirmed "we were using it in foreign_key - but thank gawd, we got rid of that :)" John said that Alejandro Pronotti (aprono) had noted "you're using datasource.field (i don't know what was there before his multitable patch)" and "we're using datasource.table.field for multi-table things - but the old syntax still works, i.e. if your datasource is only one table, everything works as before" .

20. Free financials packages for small businesses

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

Topics: Financials (Accounting)

People: Hans Kugler,�Derek Neighbors

Hans Kugler (LuftHans) said he had "pointed Carl at this channel to get info about acclite before he commits to sql-ledger" Derek Neignbors (dneighbo), fresh from setting up his daughter's first e-mail account (on Debian, of course) was not keen on SQL-Ledger, but he had not looked at it for a while. "From what i have been hearing if he just wants quickbooks like prodcut - that is a bitch to customize or extend - but is solid ui (not web) the small business version of gnucash might meet his needs" .

21. wxpython and other UIs for Forms and Designer

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

Topics: Forms, Designer

People: Andrew Mitchell,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) noted that he did not "have designer until i have a new wxpython build" , as discussed in Issue�#46, Section�#18� (8�Sep�2002:�Using gtk2 native UI as alternative to wxPython UI) - he would attempt "to rebuild wxpython against python 2.2" himself rather than wait for the new Debian package. Jason Cater (jcater) advised "make sure you comment out the part that compiles OpenGL support - it has yet to work for me under linux - usually, other than that, it works fine" .

He added "speaking of wx - they're releasing 2.4 in 2 weeks" , noting "we've tried to stay against 2.2 - as 2.3 is really unstable API wise - but with the 2.4 release - we can use lots of new features that I've been drooling over" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) noted "you see that it works with iPAQ now somewhat too :)" . Jason said "if you wonder why I'm so excited - expect designer 0.5.0 to be much more stable - as our designer funkiness is from us really pushing the limits of 2.2" .

Jason asked Andrew "you're using gtk2 how's that working out?" Derek noted that he "needs to test that" , asking "can you give a step by step debian guide? i.e apt-get install xyz - and how to call from command line - as im sure we will get baraged with support if we announce we have gtk2 native support" . Andrew said "the problem is that i'm not using debian packages for the pygtk stuff - nor any of gnome2 :) - i see python2.2-gtk2 in sid" .

Jason said "now, we just need native win32 support - desparately" . Derek sighed "and where do you propose we pick up some idiot to write that?"

Andrew asked "are there plans for making designer not dependent on wxpython? :)" Jason said not - "if good arguments are presented, I might reconsider" . Derek said "eventually i think thats a good thing - but right now xplatform quickly is most important - and i dont consider gtk or qt to really be xplatform - w/o a boatload of work" . Andrew wondered whether "wxpython sucking on debian?" was a good enough reason. Jason said "I need a better reason than that :( - as unlike forms - designer is HEAVILY dependent on whatever toolkit it is written to - that's why we chose wx" . Also, "another difference between forms and designer is it's important for forms to run everywhere (curses, win32, gtk, palm, bayonne, etc) - but I think we can get by with designer requiring some sort of gui" . He fantasised about "a bayonne-driven designer" - "/me speaking into handset "Add bound entry at position 10,10" - "Modify property 'width' of new entry to '10'""

Andrew asked "do you think that wxpython 2.4 & current designer will play nicely together" , given that Designer had been written for wxPython 2.2? Jason said yes - "for a while, we were coding against 2.3.2 - until we (doh!) realized 2.3 was unstable" .

22. Setting tab order/focus order in forms

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

Topics: Forms

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�Andrew Mitchell,�Marcos Dione

Jason Cater (jcater) said he would add "the tab traversal attributes to gfentry's - what should this attribute be called? taborder="1" - traversal="1" ? "my only problem with "taborder" is it sounds too gui-centric - but I can't think of anything better" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) suggested "focusorder - as tab is bad as with key maps it might not be tabs :) - and arent trigger prefocus-in prefocus-out etc?" Jason agreed, and asked "should focusorder originate at "1" or "0" - or is that like me asking if I should be using vi or emacs, or kde or gnome :)" ? Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) voted for "0" .

Later, Marcos Dione (StyXman) asked "does it handle well with multirow'ed entries?" Jason replied "well, it should - it'll define the focus order within a row" .

23. File links on Microsoft Windows

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

People: Arturas Kriukovas,�Jan Ischebeck

Further to Issue�#45, Section�#3� (23�Aug�2002:�Setting up CVS versions of GNUe on Microsoft Windows) , Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) told Jan Ischebeck (siesel) that "in windowsNT and etc. (ntfs file system) there is support for file links" . Jan asked whether this meant "it should be possible to modify to work on windowsNT ?" Arturas said "in respect of file-system based links, yes (at least it should be :)"

24. Problems logging in to Forms with MySQL

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

Topics: Forms

People: Jason Cater,�Jan Ischebeck

Jason Cater (jcater) noted "I fixed GNUe Forms last night (lots and lots of changes) but apparently my cvs commit did not take" . This meant "the bugs in cvs are fixed, they are just sitting on my home computer at the moment - and it's behind a firewall, so I can't get to it :(" He said "mainly I was working in GF* - trying to fix the focus order crap introduced by the boxes-as-containers" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked about "" - "there was a bug introduced by the netrc patch, which makes login to mysql, appserver fail." If a Form tried to log in without a user name or password, the code substituted 'None' for the blank user name. However, this was an alias for null in MySQL, so "mysql.connect raises a TypeError if it gets an "None" instead of string" - "The same for _password" . Jason wondered "what's the point of" this - "was that introduced by the patch, or was that old, I wonder?" . He "just deleted those two loginData.setdefault() lines - as they look completely out of place to me" . Jan also said "The other bug of mysql is that it creates endless resultsets. should be a problem in _getNextRecord() - I know that it worked 2 month ago (although I don't know why and what are the changes)" .

25. GNUe Samples

16�Sep�2002�-�17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 17 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms, Reports, Navigator

People: Jan Ischebeck,�Jason Cater,�Phil Cole,�Derek Neighbors

Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked "what about the sample directory? Should samples stay in each applications tree or should they be moved to sample directory containing all (forms, reports, navigator) kind of samples together? or should we split all samples up in (working/usefull) and (testing/for fun) and move the first ones in the package tree and leave the testing and fun samples in each applications sample directory" ? Jason Cater (jcater) said "I think a samples/ directory in the main gnue/ tree would be best" . Phil Cole (filc) agreed - "speaking as a newbie i'd think that would be easy to find too" . Derek Neighbors (derek) said "samples DEFINITELY need to be outside the tool trees - only because for debian packaging samples become a separate package. usable vs. notusable shouldnt happen - either we deem a sample useful and keep it up to date or remove it from the tree :)" .

Later, Jan said he was beginning "to populate the sample directory. I will 1. in case of a form uses a database I change the name" of the database connection "to "gnue_sampledb" - 2. check for every form/report if its working and add a README, about what it should do/will do - 3. change to a more consistent directory structure" Jason asked "why #1 ? I wonder if a simple "samples" wouldn't be enough" ? Jan said "samples would be ok too, I just want to have all samples use the SAME db name - I don't like to edit the connection file for every new sample I'm trying" . Jason agreed - "gnue_sampledb just seemed a little convoluted" .

The next day ( , Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked "if this kind of toplevel samples would be ok, or not, critics comments :)" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said "works for me - THOUGH - it might be better to kill applications and historical_examples. Eventually i want test cases and tutorials to run off a nice gpd" (GNUe Process Definition file, as used by Navigator) "so that you get a tree list of test cases to walk through - or you get a walk through tutorial - MUCH like the wxWindows demo/sample" . Jan noted "if you pack the whole sample directory in a zip file, and rename it to samples.gear, you can get that navigator file automaticly builded. just call gncvs samples.gear" . He agreed "on killing applications and historical sample, but would move contact manager to packages, and application/location to tutorials. I hope that we have a gnue schema installer in the next release, then we can throw all the sql files in the samples directory away :)" and just use the same .gsd (GNUe Schema Definition) format for all databases supported by GNUe Common.

26. Python vs. C for GNUe

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

Topics: Why GNUe?

People: Derek Neighbors,�Nick Rusnov,�Phil Cole

It was asked why GNUe used python. Derek Neighbors (derek) said "if not python, then what?" . Nick Rusnov (nickr) suggested "scheme or ruby - ruby is probably the only really comparable language in wide use" . Derek said "ruby i can understand - scheme you are sick" . He asked "why on earth would you use C to do business applications? - C is nearly unmaintainable (Well not as bad as perl) - and the performance gain starts to become minimal when the codig gets bad" He felt that C was "highly unproductive" . Nick agreed - "I'd be like months behind schedule if I werce doing my work project in C - because you have to think about structure and form constantl/y to get a good reselt - or you end up in HELL - and in python I just need to concentrate on one object ata time and I don't have to THINK about it" . Derek also felt C was a "large barrier to entry" - "python is 100 times more readable and simple to learn than C" . He was "not knocking C - it has its place - i wouldnt advocate rewritting linux in python or anything" . However, "i say for business applications its too unproductive *(or about anything gui) - if it needs a gui C might not be best choice (though thats not a hard and fast rule)" .

He noted that GNUe had been "started in C at first - and then didnt like what we were doing with glade - so we moved to wxWindows (which was C++ or python) - we all didnt like C++ - so we thought we woudl give python a try. Hated it for a week - and then fell in love. Then recently after a year of using python - we decided to scrap our application server written in C - and migrate it to python" , as discussed in Issue�#19, Section�#1� (28�Feb�2002:�GNUe Application Server (GEAS) version 2 Discussion) - "doing so actually gave us a performance gain :)" .

He emphasised "i dont think any of the core developers 'hate' C - just we dont feel its correct tool for GNUe - now, java, thats a language we hate ;)" Nick said "java has good and bad points" . Derek said he "has aversion to perl for some reason mostly because it scares my children when i have it open in an editor" . Nick said "I love perl for certain things - I'd like a bastard child of perl and python sometimes. I especially like perl for torturing small animals and derek" .

Phil Cole (filc) noted that he was "finding GNUe is using quite a bit of python not covered in the *easy* books!" . Derek said "i at times think we might be pressing python as hard as any other project - probably almsot more so than zope as of late" . Phil said he was "young jedi - learning to use the source" . Derek said "actually we have decent teaching code in there - and yoda, er jcater is pretty good teacher if you ask him to explain the ways of the force" .

27. Authentication plug-in for Navigator

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

Topics: Navigator

People: Marcos Dione,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Marcos Dione (StyXman) wanted "to replace gfcvs script with something that can have a GFClient and a app configuration thing - and let, in some way, to forms ask for another formm using runForm for that" . Jason Cater (jcater) asked "you mean, like Navigator :)" Derek Neighbors (derek) agreed - "if you mean yes navigator but you dont like navigator discuss why you dont like navigator - as the right answer might be to fix navigator not gut forms :)" . Marcos asked "does navigator still rely in the connections login? 'cause we need other kind of login. one based on a database content and not a database auth. I mean, how would you set up different user for an app made in gnue? creating users in the dbengine?" Jason said "this is a completely different problem - you need an authentication plugin" . He had done some work on this previously - "I need to dig that out - but we have hooks in place to do this - let me dig up the details" .

The next day ( , Jason announced "we now have custom authenticators in common - so you can authenticate against NIS, LDAP, database, - your mom" . Derek asked "how hard woudl it be to add in PAM? - as i just picked up a good article in pam implementation" . Jason said "it's a stub - I've never programmed against PAM in python - but it should be REALLY easy" . Derek said "maybe i will add it ;)" .

28. Preferred patch format for GNUe

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

People: Marcos Dione,�Jason Cater,�Phil Cole

Marcos Dione (StyXman) asked about the preferred format for patches - "I can make patches with 'cvs diff' or 'diff -Naur'" . Jason Cater (jcater) said he was not sure which was better - "We really need to have a README for patches that tells people the preferred way to send in patches" . Phil Cole (filc) said ""cvs diff -c" Is what i've read before" , but Marcos noted that this "uses non-unified diffs, have line nubers 'harcoded', so they go where they 'want' to go" , whereas "diff -Naur (like the scroll.patch I sent) have context, so patch can find where it should go even if is not where it say it should..." Jason said "then I think I'd prefer the diff -Naur" . He suggested "can we add that somewhere to the web site i.e., "Preferred way to send patches" - or maybe that's a FAQ entry?" .

29. Disabling Form entries at run-time

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

Topics: Forms

People: Marcos Dione,�Jason Cater,�Jan Ischebeck,�Phil Cole

Marcos Dione (StyXman) asked "what do you think of letting programmer disable entries @ runtime?" Jason Cater (jcater) said "I think that's a needed feature - one we've been discussing a while - but haven't had time to add" . He thought "all that has to happen is add an enable() and disable() trigger namespace for entries and buttons that sets the .readonly flag - I think it'll be as simple as that - as the nextEntry() and previousEntry() code checks the status of .readonly" . Marcos asked "about on whow disable certain rows of multirow'ed entries?" He thought this might avoid the "bug we found re: clicking in the wrong row" , as referred to in Issue�#46, Section�#6� (5�Sep�2002:�Focus problem with multi-line Forms) . Jason said he would "rather find the cause of the row selection problem" .

Marcos felt "that disabling rows that are not 'valid' for input *yet* is also a good" feature. Jason agreed, "but I think that'd be a function of the UI driver - not of a trigger coded by the programmer" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) suggested "what about using a different color for rows that don't have data in it and are not editable. (a different color like dark grey)" Jason said "I've actually wanted that too for a while - just never got around to it - y'all should open these up as work orders in DCL" . Marcos asked "ain't that the same to 'disable' them?" Jason said "I don't think wx greys out disable fields - I could be wrong" Phil Cole (filc) pointed out that GNUe needed "to be able to do this on a text interface. Not sure if colour is a good idea" . Jason said he "would foresee the shading as an added feature on UI's that support it - but certainly shouldn't be the "primary" method of disabling - as like you say, on curses that wouldn't make sense" . Jan said "I think, if you use a text interface you won't use your mouse often, so the problem of clicking in row 3 instead of row one wouldn't occure very often" . Phil agreed - "A disabled object should not be able to get focus." Jason said he "may try to hack this in before the next release" .

30. Point of Sale systems for GNUe

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

Topics: Financials (Accounting), Integrator

People: Jason Cater

Further to Issue�#45, Section�#9� (30�Aug�2002:�Point of Sale (POS) systems for GNUe) , Jason Cater (jcater) said he "thinks I've settled on LanePOS" for his own personal use "until I get GNUe POS working" - "/me fully intends on doing a GNUe PoS at some point - just not tonight" . He noted that LanePOS ( was "GPL (of course) - and includes a curses and TK module" . This would also "probably spur GNUe Integrator - so I can get sales out of and products into Lane - and sales into Acclite. /me also desparately needs to be able to load data files (CSV, etc) into my database at work (and on some side projects) - and I think integrator should handle that too" .

31. acclite and unofficial GNUe packages

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Financials (Accounting), Inventory, SCM, Sales

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Peter Sullivan,�Hans Kugler

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) pasted an e-mail he had received asking about "web enabled accounting software" - he was "am at a crux to i respond with an acclite response and fact it will be attempting to put back into nola tree - or do i not mention at all - etc - part of me wonders are we better off just forking since it seems nola isnt much maintained anyhow - and doing more to 'market it'" . Jason Cater (jcater) put on his Austin Powers glasses and said "fork it, baby!" Derek noted "we have been receiving patches and applying them :)" Jason asked "does the FSF copyright assignment cover the patches to that?" Derek said "technically yes - IF we put it under GNU Enterprise - as i went lawyer like on the assignments - and have folks assign to GNU Enterprise - which means ANYTHING under the GNUe umbrella would be covered (as thought of getting more than one assignment seemed painful)" . He noted that assignment was less of an issue with acclite "in sense its already tainted with base code" from Nola owned by Noguska "that isnt assigned - though i would PREFER all new code to it be assigned - as at somepoint new code will supercede old code" . What was more important was the marketing message, "i.e. Acclite as part of GNUe but not an 'official' GNUe Accounting Package" .

The other issue was that he was looking at developing some "backend stuff" for "sales order, shipping, purchase order, A/R, A/P, shopping cart etc" - "wondering if this should be official unofficial gnue stuff ;) - or official gnue stuff - as i need to start some marketing campaigns for a few things" . However, "one of the tenets of gnue is umbrella for enteprise apps written w/ or w/o framework and second tenet is community of gnue apps whether official packages or not" . "Right now today i would say" the 'backend stuff' was "NOT going to be final package" for areas like GNUe Supply Chain or Sales - "though it may 'evolve' into that, probably wouldnt market as such" . Jason felt the same applied to acclite - not an official GNUe Financials package, "but it would be a great package to have under our umbrella - i.e., the GNUe Accounting package for SME" . Derek explained "we are faced with about 3 different shops needing almost identical solution - we have to start somewhere and SAP equivalent isnt it :)" . Jason said "we need to find a POS to bring under our wings too :)" .

Derek said "we are faced with what do we do with this backend we are writing" - "do we make it part of GNUe - if so is it like acclite and 'start paks'? or is it the basis for the OFFICIAL gnue packages - we have real companies committed to using it - and already some code (all under GPL) - we venture others would be HIGHLY interested - and would like to start marketing it - but are at a crux on approach" . Peter Sullivan (psu) felt "the key thing is to get apps - and pref official GNUe Apps - even if they are more basic than where we want to end up" . Derek agreed, but "i dont want to look like a quickbooks replacement (As an end goal) - by putting sme type packages out as 'official'. Unlike acclite though this backend stuff is all gnue based - i.e. using the framework" Hans Kugler (LuftHans) said "we need a good, Free Software accounting package for small to medium businesses. If acclite can get that done quickly, then I ask that acclite get fixed" - "is there a reason you can't have acclite as the 'quickbooks replacement', then work on whatever it is as the big package, or maybe make an accheavy..."

Derek said "im not worried about acclite :) - i see it as before like DCL - a non GNUe Framework app pointed to as part of gnue - migrating towards the framework slowly. Im more concerned about the backend stuff i discussed - which will i assume start to replace or merge with parts of acclite as when looking at A/P, A/R that is one area we though, we should really just reuse acclite - for a quick advancement" . Peter asked "To what extent does the backend stuff conflict with our plans for GNUe Financials? I.e. modular design means that" Derek's back-end stuff "it can talk to either acclite or GNUe Fin" . Derek said there was no conflict - "what im envisioning is the backend stuff is exactly what i want gnue to do long term - its just starting out small - i.e. baby steps" - "current time lines dictate fully functional backend from sales order to warehouse to ups to door to invoice to payment - w/in 3 - 6 months minimum - without a 'ton' of bells and whistles - which from what i have seen just on the local LUG list here - people are darn near dying for - and its not gnucash small business or sql-ledger or the likes that is basically accounting with some invoicing features but full cycle supply chain stuff - that is HIGHLY extendable quickly" . Peter felt that "as long as we managed expectations (e.g. keep version numbers under 1.0.0) I don't see why we can't call what you are working on GNUe SCM 0.1, GNUe Inventory 0.1 etc - i.e it's there, use it, but it ain't 1.0 functionality yet - and yes, we do accept patches. After all, the tools were pretty basic to start with but still useful within their limitations" .

Derek said "we have this stuff in private cvs currently - i suppose before i go committing a ton more crap - we will need to decide if we want this else where. /me was thinking if it were to remain 'non official' it could stay where it is BUT if its 'official' i want assignments and it should be in savannah and then a whole other argument can ensue on what folders names and such to use :) - the bad thing is because of timelines a lot of stuff cant be discussed in length to make most optimal decisions - another reason i questioned should it be official gnue" . Peter felt "sometimes the only way to prove something is a bad decision is to make it ;-)" . Jason proposed making acclite "GNUe's SME entry-level accounting package (at least until our main package gets underway) - and that we put it on savannah" (where GNUe's main CVS was) "but not under gnue/ - perhaps gnue-acclite" . Peter suggested "GNU-ANQ (acclite's not quickbooks)" .

Derek was not sure how the back-end stuff should be presented, for instance on the website - if they were not to be official GNUe packages, "i just want our home page to not look like we dont have anything if we start to have somethign :) - but dont want people to be confused that its the end game" . Jason agreed - "that's WHY I keep saying "lite" - and that it's nothing more than accounting" Derek said "well thats what i have to deliver - so thats what im thinking of :)" . Jason said "you will be delivering backend services - that at the moment interface with the SME accounting package" . Derek asked "but how do we do this web page wise? how do i market this if its not from the main gnue pages?" Peter suggested "split the site - have a prominent link to "Friends of GNUe"" Various web adresses (serious or not) were suggested, but Derek liked "" . Jason asked "are we the microsoft of the Free software world? embrace-and-extend?" Derek said "if you cant beat them, extend them - sadly in our case its laziness vs greed ;)" .

Jason asked "what's wrong with putting it on the GNUe pages? but labeling it like I said - "SME" or such - as long as it's clear that this is not "THE" gnue accounting package - but a slimmed down version - GNUe Mom-and-Pop" . Peter suggested some text along the lines of "GNUe SME is an umbrella for GNUe packages aimed at SME. At the moment, the SME packages are in advance of the official ones. This should change over time. We are/are not aware of any limitations in GNUe SME that make it unsuitable for larger biz, but that's not the target market" .

Peter noted that "From what I can remember of the GNUe GL spec, I would guess acclite probably has more functionality anyway - but it's been almost a year since I grokked it" . Jason said "I personally think we should remove some features of acclite if we make it our official SME - e.g., payroll - as I think that'll be overcomplicating the initial package" .

32. XSLT dependency for .gsd and Reports

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Reports, Common

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�Jan Ischebeck

Jason Cater (jcater) wished "our schema stuff" (GNUe Schema Definitions - .gsd) "didn't depend on XSLT :( - yet another dependency to be installed before you can play - plus apparently ppl are haveing trouble with pysablot on Win32 machines" . He saw "XSLT as a short-term solution - not a long-term one - so I guess it works now" Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) was "not really pro writing our own" - "it works VERY well for gsd stuff - where i think it will likely fall more short is reports - and there i see it as just one of many options" . Jason said that eventually .gsd support "will become an extension of the dbdrivers and the dbdrivers will be able to create tables directly based on gsd files" . Derek was not keen "as one of the powerful things to me is that for OTHER projects to adopt this currently all they need is an XSLT parser - in the future if all they need to adopt it is GNUe Common we lose a lot of people using it" . Jason felt that XSLT was "no small barrier to entry!" , but Derek said "its smaller and less 'political' than requiring common" . He agreed "i dont like it the dependency - maybe we can make it like reports - and allow xslt to still be used - or use native gnue components - i think we need to be careful to try to use (or be standards compatiable) where possible" . Jason said that .gsd was not a standard - "it's something we came up with - I'm all for other projects being able to benefit from it - but only to the point that it still fulfills our needs" . Derek said "i meant that XSLT is a standard - gnue common parser is not" . Jason did not see "see how that relates at all - then let's get rid of GNUe Forms and do an XSLT engine" . Jan Ischebeck (siesel) said "we need more than the xslt solution. The xslt solution is good and important. f.e. for populating empty databases, but we need something like a real schema installer" for upgrades - "a real schema installer could tell you the differences between the actual schema in the database and the schema in the GSD file" . Derek said "im not AGAINST moving away from XSLT though we should probably still support/maintain it" . Jason agreed - "I just said at some point dbdrivers will support it natively - I never said you couldn't have xslt as well" .

33. Determining row validity by timestamps

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Common, Application Server

People: John Lenton,�Jason Cater,�Phil Cole,�Jan Ischebeck,�Derek Neighbors

John Lenton (Chipaca) said "we need to add support for tables that don't update their fields via an update, but via marking the row as 'old' (via a timestamp) - we were about to do this via a 'papo' dbdriver, but we thought maybe it could be taken to a point where other people could use it. In papo tables that should behave like this have two fields, a start_t and an end_t, but that should be configurable if we were to make it part of gnue" . This involved "tables that keep a historic record of themselves, and as such don't ever update, but mark rows as no longer valid - thus you can have a snapshot of the system at any previous point in time" . Jason Cater (jcater) thought this sounded like "a transactional system - I do that here at work with database-level triggers - I'm not sure how to do that cleanly at the client level" . John explained that their database driver would say "'this table uses whatever', and which columns do the dirty work - we could come up with something very, very, very ugly - and it would still be nicer than triggers in the database :)" . Phil Cole (filc) thought "that transaction history should be handled by the appserver stuff... not the db level. e.g. Sales Order History, Audit Trail" . Jason did not "have a clean solution that I like :(" John suggested "ok, we'll come up with something semi-clean and push it at you ]:) - We need it for papo, but as I say, we were going to do it out of gnue completely, so if you don't like it it's still A-ok - just thtat we thought it might be of more general use" .

Later, Jan Ischebeck (siesel) suggested "That transaction stuff can be added quite fast to the application server. If papo don't want to additionaly start appserver, there will be a way using that loopback RPC driver to start appserver every time you start up forms, as an additional thread." . Derek Neighbors (derek) was "not sure i like that solution - one of the tenents of GNUe is - productss work alone or together. Of course common is the exception, and designer isnt necessary much if dont have at least one other product installed. But the itdea was you would not be required to have appserver ifyou didnt want it - you would nto be required ot have reports if you didnt want it. I have no problem making transactions and such happen in appserver, but i dont think that you can require appserver to have transactions" .

34. GNUe and database drivers on Microsoft Windows

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Common

People: Derek Neighbors,�Jason Cater,�Stuart Bain,�Jan Ischebeck,�James Thompson

Derek Neighbors (derek) asked "is v0.3.0 windows broken w/ postgres entirely?" Jason Cater (jcater) replied "just the ability to login to the database - everything else works" . Derek said he "has stuff written here been using in GNU/Linux and need to give to user, but of course user only has windows" - was "cvs broked too" on Microsoft Windows. Jason did not know - "grab cvs and check her out" . Derek installed the dependencies for GNUe - "python 2.1 installed - wx 2.2 installed" and database drivers for postgreSQL. Jason confirmed that the hourly ( CVS snapshots were updating again.

Derek, forgetting about Issue�#45, Section�#3� (23�Aug�2002:�Setting up CVS versions of GNUe on Microsoft Windows) , asked "does work on windows?" Jason said "most definitely not" Derek needed "a guide to cvs gnue on windows - its been too long since i used windows :) - windows is hard to use ;) - do they have a Windows User Group I could email for help on Windows? ;)" Jason suggested James Thompson (jamest) - "I heard he loves it - and loves to help clueless windows ppl" . Derek "mutters some derogatory comments about" the lack of scollable backlog or tab completion. He had to be much more specific about the version of python he needed to work with the other GNUe dependencies like mxDateTime and the postgreSQL ( driver than he was used to with Debian GNU/Linux. Stuart Bain (stbain) confirmed that "the ODBC" driver works - "but then you lose introspection" .

Having got everything set up and working, Derek asked "is it easy to make .exes for windows?" . Stuart suggested py2exe, but Jason noted that "py2exe won't work w/GNUe iirc - we use McMillan + INNO" . He noted that GNUe was still using mcmillan 4 to produce Windows self-installing *.exe files - "5 introduced a new config file format and it took a lot of trial and error to tweak the 4 config file - so we haven't migrated yet - 5 looks much more impressive but 4 is getting the job done :)"

Jan Ischebeck (siesel) asked "can you add an sapdb ( driver to the windows installer?" Jason noted that "um - if it requires WinNT/2000" then this would mean GNUe could not support SAP-DB on older versions of Microsoft Windows. Jan said "if sapdb just runs on WinNT/2000, Firebird seems to be a better choice." Jason felt these were "two different classes of databases - if you are wanting a compact database SAP-DB is definitely not what you want" . Derek said "firebird imho is far from 'lite' which is a good thing not a bad one" - but "if you are using a SQL level db on 95/98 you are CRAZY!!!!!!" Jason said "well, by "lite" I meant "doesn't need dedicated machine" - if you want lite-lite, I think I'm liking sqlite" .

35. File extension for GNUe Integrator files

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Integrator

People: Jason Cater,�John Lenton

Jason Cater (jcater) asked "what will we call integrator files? .gid is a fairly common extension" . He explained "it's a file that integrator reads - data mappings and triggers" The consensus seemed to be to .gmd, which Jason said could stand for GNUe "Merge/Map/Migration" Definition file, although John Lenton (Chipaca) suggested "gif - GNUe Integrator file :)" .

36. XUL as an alternative to GNUe Forms

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Stuart Bain,�Derek Neighbors

Further to Issue�#46, Section�#29� (10�Sep�2002:�XUL/Mozilla Forms client) , Stuart Bain (stbain) said he "was introduced to XUL a week or so ago by a co-contractor at one of our mutual customers - seems like it would actually fit quite well. It's not browser based - rather, a cross platform GUI builder - and now that Mozilla is moving towards MPL/LGPL/GPL tri-licensing" it was compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) that GNUe used. "granted, the databindings are not quite as strong yet, but from what I've seen so far, it's a very feature rich language" . Derek Neighbors (derek) said "a lot of it goes to 3 years ago when we made a decision. Part of the problem is also mozilla and gecko arent well separate (though much better now) - and requiring mozilla as a 'client' is a bit much. The databinding isnt even on the roadmap - where in gnue the databinding IS the product" . He noted "fwiw: you could use navigator in same way you want to use mozilla - i.e. it could read gfd's over http just fine - and you have an 'internet' application. I'm just seeing NO real value in scrapping all our work - and starting with XUL and having to do their databinding for them" - "I do see value in someone over there getting head out of sand and looking to add XPCOM to gnue-common - then use gnue-common databasde for bindings - and even possibly making a forms client that renders XUL" . He was not convinced by arguments that XUL was a standard - "XUL is a netscape standard - just like GFD is a GNUe based standard" and "currently only GNUe focuses on" databinding - "XUL does all this great databinding to RDF/RSS which is basically XML data streams, not what an enterprise will be storing its data in and horribly slow for large data heaps" .

37. Do not declare DTDs in GNUe Forms Definitions (.gfd)

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms, Common

People: Marcos Dione,�Jason Cater

Marcos Dione (StyXman) reported a problem trying to open a form - "No such file or directory: 'gnue-forms.dtd'" - "wild guess: the parser tries to load the dtd?" Jason Cater (jcater) said "better not - or I may be kicking someone's ass - the DTD is for documentation only i.e., it's a reference - it's not actually used by the code" . Marcos confirmed that the form definition had an XML DOCTYPE declaration in it - if this was not commented out, "*something* tries to load the dtd..." Jason wondered "where'd that <!--DOCTYPE--> come from?" Marcos guessed "emacs" - although he did not use it, other people who might have been working on the form did. He deleted the DOCTYPE line and everything worked fine. He noted this "is the first time I hit this one... could be the version of sax that I use?" .

38. SAP-DB and PostgreSQL support on IRC

17�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 18 Sep 2002"

Topics: Common

People: Derek Neighbors

Further to Issue�#41, Section�#4� (31�Jul�2002:�SAP-DB and GNUe on slashdot) and similar threads, Derek Neighbors (derek) noted "i started a sapdb channel on freenode" , the same collection of irc servers that #gnuenterprise used, "in hopes of getting some extra support. I have been very active in the postgresql channel of late. /me is suprised that i can answer 85% of the questions. /me thinks gnue made learn more about postgres than i bargained for - though still have problem no one can answer my questions"

Sharon And Joy

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