GNUe Traffic #49 For 5�Oct�2002

By Peter Sullivan

Easy like Sunday mornings - "hey, the KC GNUe isn't up yet - you know, this ruins my entire Sunday morning schedule? as I wake up right before noon, come read KC GNUe, then go eat lunch - now you've thrown my whole day off :-/"

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. GNUe in use in production environments

20�Sep�2002�-�28�Sep�2002 (3 posts) Archive Link: "Who uses GNUe?"

People: Peter Sullivan,�Jason Cater

Peter Sullivan said he was looking to add a page to the GNUe website "on projects using GNUe" - both "other free software projects using the GNUe tools" and "people who use GNUe for private projects - not proprietary, just internal stuff that they have no intention of releasing." . Jason Cater said he was "working on a GPL'd rental property management app called RentFree." "It's really early in the development process, so it's not in a usable state yet. But, code does exist." Also, he used GNUe "at NCS for our new in-house development in place of Oracle SQL-Forms. Eventually, we plan to get all our old apps converted over (at which point we will also switch to SAP-DB.) It is in production use here. Once the GNUe financial packages are usable, we will also switch from Great Plains to GNUe Financials. A second company I work for, Cambridge Marketing, is also rewriting their call center's software using GNUe tools. This has not gone into production use yet. My wife's "Off the Shelf" Bookstore in Olive Branch, MS, (a used book store) is using the GNUe tools for its backoffice operations -- currently using custom packages. If I can get a decently usable system, we will probably release this bookstore package under the GPL" as well. Peter said he "would like to include something about Via Libre and papo. And I know are using the GNUe tools for various internal projects, but I'm not sure whether these are public enough to go on the web page yet."

2. wxWindows bug in Designer Property Window

23�Sep�2002�-�29�Sep�2002 (3 posts) Archive Link: "Modifying Window Objects in designer"

Topics: Designer

People: Alfredo Ricafort,�Peter Sullivan

Alfredo Ricafort asked "How do I modify window objects in the designer ? It seems that all the fields the designer, especially those in the Property Inspector, are all protected. The only fields that I can edit are the 'X','Y','Width' & 'Height'." Peter Sullivan said "I think this is a known bug in wxpython - the GNUe developers have checked the GNUe code several times, and there is nothing obviously wrong with it. The easy workaround is to maximise your Designer window so that the scroll bars (horizontal and vertical) disappear, which should then make these fields editable again." Alfredo said "For me, this workaround only works for 'Labels' and 'Boxes', but not for 'Unbound Entries' or 'Drop Downs'."

3. Time and Expenses functionality

25�Sep�2002�-�26�Sep�2002 (2 posts) Archive Link: "Status of HR - where to find documentation?"

Topics: Human Resources

People: Frank Wegener,�Derek Neighbors

Frank Wegener asked about "the HR-software" , especially "time & expense" . Derek Neighbors explained "We do not at this time have ready made packages for Human Resources. We gladly accept proposals and would be more than willing to work with you to develop something with our application framework so that we do have HR packages."

4. GNUe developers meeting in Germany

25�Sep�2002�-�30�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 26 Sep 2002"

Topics: Application Server

People: Reinhard M�ller,�Christian Selig,�Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�Arturas Kriukovas

Further to Issue�#48, Section�#15� (21�Sep�2002:�GNUe developers meeting in Germany) , Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) discussed some practical issues for arranging the meeting with Christian Selig (lupo). He explained that the topic "should be about design issues and not about wild hacking - i guess we will discuss basic design of appserver" . Christian agreed - "appserver is really important by now - jan has obviously some concepts :)" . Reinhard agreed - "i think the problem is most of us have some concepts - that's why we need to talk :)" . Jason Cater (jcater) wished he "could go to frankfurt :(" Reinhard warned "they don't have donuts in frankfurt" . Jason suggested "someone take a camera" . Christian wondered why Jason would want a picture of "4 hackers and a smart-alecks?" Derek Neighbors suspected "he wanted proof there are no donuts" . Various doughnut-related jokes followed.

Some days later ( , Christian asked Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) "i've heard you'll join the meeting in frankfurt? ( " . Arturas said he "hoped" to be there. Christian reported that their FSF Europe (Free Software Foundation) contact "said he has no room but a corner" . Reinhard said "i might be able to find a conference room for about 10 people at an affordable price - if i find one then we can take that - if i don't find anything then we can come back to volker's corner" . Christian volunteered to document the meeting, "which can then be reused in the next kernel cousin" .

5. New Releases of the GNUe Tools

25�Sep�2002�-�29�Sep�2002 (1 post) Archive Link: "[Gnue-announce] New Releases of the GNUe Tools"

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

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

Further to Issue�#48, Section�#9� (19�Sep�2002:�New releases of GNUe Tools) , Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) asked on IRC ( "how's the countdown to release going?" Jason Cater (jcater) said he was "ready - except for the Win32 binaries" as referred to in Issue�#48, Section�#12� (19�Sep�2002:�New releases for Microsoft Windows) - "they are kicking my arse" .

Two days later ( , Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) was having problems with the third pre-releases - "the wizards are horridly broken :(" As he was meant to be doing a presentation the next day, he reverted to the old 0.3.0 releases in order to get something more stable. He was also pulling together some slides for the presentation - "2 CFO's are coming specifically to review gnue" .

Later on, Jason Cater (jcater) said "there's more to life than wizards" - he "hasn't used a wizard in months - you should learn how to use designer properly :) - although I do wonder who broke my wizards" . Derek said that he had just been "hoping to have working 0.4.0 so could demo gear and connection editor and other things i have heard so much about" .

Jason confirmed that he had fixed the simple wizard in Designer, "but I'll say if that's how you're designing forms you need to learn how to use designer :)" Derek asked if Jason was implying that "wizards arent a good way to use designer?" . Jason said "they are a way - /me hasn't used wizards since 0.3.0 - I designed a complete backend to LanePOS this past week using nothing but designer - plus a custom inventory system" . Derek said he preferred "wizard plus manilupation" .

The next day ( , Jason said he was still hoping to get the Microsoft Windows .exe versions working, but "they won't have support for interbase/firebird like I thought - /me thinks that either their win driver is missing a DLL - or a interbase/firebird dll is required - /me forgets which DLL it complains about - but I couldn't find reference anywhere on the net to it - so I'll worry about that at a later date :)" He was also not including the SAP-DB drivers in the .exe version - "the SAP-DB guys said I should be able to use the Python drivers under any Win32 but I can't find how to do that yet (may take a recompile or such" ).

Later, Jason asked "can someone(s) (with broadband preferrably) grab" a release tar.gz file he was uploading "that is a binary image of our tools w/all dependencies - ala the OpenOffice setup program" . It "contains Designer, Forms, and Navigator" - Reports was still too early a release, "and AppServer would have to be separate" . Derek Neighbors (derek) said "you realize IF this works - we can have debs in like 10 minutes probably - same way flash and openoffice debs work - i.e. just put binaries in place and make menu entries and they will be just in unofficial debian :)" . Jason said "if this works then it was totally worth the frustrations with the conversion to McMillan 5" . Several people downloaded and untarred the file to test it, uncovering a few minor bugs, but nothing critical. Jason announced "then we are officially released - hooya!" . Derek agreed - "we can always do a 0.4.1" .

Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) asked "is the short-term plan to get back to new features, or just bugfixing for a couple of weeks?" Derek said "plan is we need a roadmap asap - for at least 3 versions (even if rough) - i would say 0.4.0 only goest to 0.4.1 for security or grave bugs - we need a list for 0.5.0 of what features we want in 0.5.0 and any bugs we hope to squash in 0.5.0 that we know about - and we start going after those things" .

Jason announced the new releases on the mailing list:

He explained "All of these releases are targeted at developers. The five products are available in source form from our website at ( ." They had been "tested and are known to run on:"

There were also "Windows installers for GNUe-Designer and GNUe-Forms that include all the basic dependencies -- you only have to download a single setup.exe! The Installers include support for PostgreSQL, MySQL, and ODBC."

He gave the change logs for each tool, before adding that "work on GNUe Integrator has commenced in CVS. GNUe Integrator will initially allow batch-mode transfers of data from one data source to another." .

6. New release and Debian packages for Double Chocco Latte

26�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 27 Sep 2002"

Topics: DCL

People: Jeff Bailey,�Derek Neighbors

Jeff Bailey (jbailey) asked whether a new release of DCL was planned soon - "I don't want to fix the" Debian package for it "only to find out I have to upgrade it in a week." Derek Neighbors (derek) said "i was ready to release a new one last week and couldnt find you :) - dtm has cajoled me into doing some versioning and roadmapping so i was considering holding off - but if you are up to it maybe i can tweak out a new version with current fixes - and just plan on a x.x.X release shortly after with final wave of clean up" . He noted that "we plan on doing a fairly stable release then start refactoring head some - how will that work in Debian? If i do a 0.9.0 release in sid - then get some feedback and a few more fixes and release 0.9.1 - how long till that could be moved to sarge? so that we could get 1.0.0 debs ready shortly after? with new stuff from head?" Jeff said that the criteria for moving packages from Debian unstable (sid) to Debian testing (as of time of writing, sarge) was "10 days bug free in sid. (plus it's dependancies, of coruse)" - as of time of writing, there was only one "upstream" bug with the DCL Debian package.

7. Code names for releases

27�Sep�2002�-�30�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 28 Sep 2002"

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors,�Peter Sullivan,�Reinhard M�ller,�Daniel Baumann,�Calum Morrell

Calum Morrell (drochaid) reported that the pre-releases web page was not working. Derek Neighbors (derek) and Jason Cater (jcater) fixed this, but Jason noted "/me doesn't like this /downloads/current/ and /downloads/previous/ business" as "you frequently break links - you should also consider that once anyone gets us in any of the BSD ports - we'll break their ports code when we move" . Derek "sees value in current as so that people that are new arent confused :)" - they agreed that the best solution was to have all the downloads together and just have the current releases as a sub-set of the full downloads.

Two days later ( , Peter Sullivan (psu) said that the "new releases are now suitably announced on front page" of the web site - all of the releases were in the /downloads/releases/ directory, but the current releases were also in /downloads/current. He felt "It might not be so stupid an idea to go all Debian - and have a codename for each release set (given that the version numbers are and will be out of sync) - Then we could have a symlink for /current/ that just moved. Given the nature of this channel, I can imagine code names being from Star Wars rather than Toy Story ;-) If we were being really sophisticated we could use light-side-of-the-force names for Tools releases, dark-side names for packages - and anaikin/vader for the 1.0.0 release that brings everything together ;-)" . Jason preferred a doughnut-related theme - "this is the Glazed release - next time, Chocolate - then Creme filled - oooo - lemon-filled" . Peter noted that also "we have things like bayonne and DCL that go w/own release schedules" . Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) liked "release names but seems silly except for 1.x 2.x 3.x type releases" .

The next day ( , Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said "release names - seriously i thought about that, too - and as we have some tolkien fans among us i could imagine bilbo, frodo, gandalf et al - like in debian" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "it's hard to choose between farscape names and tolkien names for computers ;) - I think farscape is winning though - I already have 'frell'" .

8. Using triggers to re-validate availability in Forms

28�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 29 Sep 2002"

Topics: Forms

People: Nick Rusnov,�Jason Cater

Nick Rusnov (nickr) asked "its possible to validate things in forms based on data in tables in the datasource, right?" He gave the example of "designing a form to allow users to select a terminal to reserve - so he selects all the unreserved terminals from the database and presents them as a list - the user sits there for 20 minutes trying to decide - in that amount of time, one of the terminals on his list of available ones has become reserved" . Jason Cater (jcater) suggested "have a trigger that is executed when they select their choice - and if no longer available - say, "your slow ass lost you this seat. try again."" .

9. Role-Based Access Control

28�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 29 Sep 2002"

Topics: Navigator, Forms

People: Charles Rouzer,�Peter Sullivan,�Nick Rusnov

Charles Rouzer (Mr_You) asked "how would you go about restricting data to the user? in other words, I only want a customer to have access to his information, not all customers ;-)" Peter Sullivan (psu) said this needed Role-Based Access Control - "RBAC is on the "To Do" list for Naviagtor" and Project Papo were looking at doing "something similar - as they need it" soon, as discussed in Issue�#47, Section�#27� (16�Sep�2002:�Authentication plug-in for Navigator) Nick Rusnov (nickr) felt "that rbac needs pervasive support, not just in the client side :)" Peter said the current workaround was "if the number of users isn't too bad - and your underlying d/b supports it - just use seperate d/b logins and views on the transaction tables - /me realises this isn't a feasible solution if you have 500+ users all with diff privs" . Nick felt this was "easy to bypass if the db doesn't prevent you itself." .

10. Problems with 0.4.0 releases on Microsoft Windows

29�Sep�2002�-�30�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 30 Sep 2002"

People: Charles Rouzer,�Peter Sullivan,�Jan Ischebeck,�Bajusz Tam�s,�Arturas Kriukovas,�Dmitry Sorokin,�Derek Neighbors,�ra3vat

Charles Rouzer (Mr_You) reported "gnue-designer.exe won't start (0.4.0) - dunno if I need to reboot" . Peter Sullivan (psu) said "This is windoze, so that's always a possibility - but IIRC the windows installs are fairly clean (e.g. no registry mucking about) - as the aim was to make them network-installable" , as discussed in Issue�#3, Section�#11� (12�Nov�2001:�GNUe setup.exe for Microsoft Windows) . Charles "uninstalled and reinstalled and designer and navigator still don't wor. This is with XP" . Later, Jan Ischebeck (siesel) reported problems on Windows 2000 - "the funny thing is that forms won't start from the console, but can be started by clicking on a forms file :("

The next day ( , Bajusz Tam�s (btami) asked "have you tried released .exe on any win32 ? i'v tried on XP and win2k, but both failed without any error msg" . Arturas Kriukovas (Arturas) said he had not tried them yet - "i'm trying to implement for windows" as discussed in Issue�#45, Section�#3� (23�Aug�2002:�Setting up CVS versions of GNUe on Microsoft Windows) , "so i'm planning to try everything then (in a week)" . Bajusz said that Microsoft Windows XP supported hard links, as required for a setup-cvs script. Arturas said "i think we can iclude this util in our /common/tools (or how is that folder called) - so it'll work with 2k and XP - however for 9x and NT i have no ideas" . Bajusz said "it will work on 2k and XP definitely - couse it is filesystem related" , depending on NTFS 5.

Dmitry Sorokin (ra3vat) reported that, on Windows 98, "forms worked - designer no" . However, "translation does not work though" . Arturas said he believed that "gettext does not exist under windows - maybe it's possible some kind of workaround - but i guess we'll have to use English language only for Windows" . However, he was not sure. Dmitry confirmed that his translations were working on GNU/Linux. Bajusz said that he had "tried on win32 before - and it worked IIRC" . Arturas said he would be able to "look at it in a few days" .

Later, Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said "fwiw: windows install is a dream its great - HOWEVER it is hosed wrt functionality - drop down box behavior is severely crippled - i will send bugs as i get a chance" . It was asked if the problem could be that the images were not checked in to CVS as binary files. Derek thought this was "VERY likely - /me thought we added some cvs rules to fix this, but likely only did it at the www/ directory and below" .

11. Dependencies for 0.4.0 releases

29�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 30 Sep 2002"

People: Arjen Runsink,�James Thompson

Arjen Runsink (Suit) asked "which version of wxGTK and wxPython is exactly needed" for the new releases - "The INSTALL file for forms talks about 2.2.2, but even Google does not know that version" . James Thompson (jamest) said "I'm using 2.2.9 - IIRC the win binaries are built w/ 2.3" . Arjen said "I am getting the sources, no problem compiling those. Last time I did that though I pulled my hair for not being able to get a compilable and runnable mixture of dependencies and GNUe and other stuff" . He noted "there does not seem to be a 2.2.9 version for wxPython" - "the latest 2.2. version mentioned in the changelog on the website is 2.2.5 the latest on sourceforge is 2.2.7" . James, remembering Issue�#46, Section�#18� (8�Sep�2002:�Using gtk2 native UI as alternative to wxPython UI) , said "yeah, that was a major pita, some of the distros used a non-released wx" . However, "whatever wx you installed" for the GNUe Tools 0.3.0 releases "should still work - unless things changed we work w/ any 2.2 and up" .

12. GNUe Release Cycles

30�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 01 Oct 2002"

People: Andrew Mitchell,�Peter Sullivan,�Daniel Baumann

Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) asked "what's your opinion on GNUe release cycles? ;)" Peter Sullivan (psu) said "we seem to be about quarterly at the moment - which seems fine to me. Enough to make releasing a special event. Not so rare that the project looks dead. Also, at the moment, release staff == development staff - so every release is 1-2 weeks out of the devcl cycle. If we had a dedicated release team, I would say release monthly" . Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "hah, a dedicated release team - this is free s/w - there's no such thing ;)" Peter said that eventually "we might be able to get leading GNUe consultancy firms to sponser releases - "This release is brought to you by the letters Q and X, and Chillywilly Enterprises Inc. ( ""

13. FTB Accounting and GNUe

30�Sep�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 01 Oct 2002"

Topics: Financials (Accounting)

People: Dan Bethe,�Andrew Mitchell,�Daniel Baumann

Dan Bethe (dtm) asked "what's the status of GNUe as a SOHO accounting app? such as compared to MyBooks or Quickbooks" ? Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) said that "some people ( are very slowly working on it ;)" . Dan asked "is it within sight? do they have a project plan or status page?" Andrew said that not much of the work was being done on-line - "it's a group of us here in dunedin looking at it - so more is done offline" . Dan suggested adding "a roadmap and a status page" - "lots of people want to know - is it anywhere near usable?" Andrew said "well, the first version is usable, but it's not GNUeified - it's a php/python hybrid - quite ugly but functional" .

Andrew said there were no copyright headers on the code at the moment - it "was just an internal project) - forms & stuff will be GPL" . Dan asked "why would they do that rather than spend $99 on MyBooks then? accounting is not something to just mess with" . Andrew said the original author had developed it for his own use, and for his business.

Dan asked "does it interoperate with anything, like a bank or other file formats?" Daniel Baumann (chillywilly) said "it's called OFX spport - or whatever that prorocol is" - "gnucash cvs supports it - you can dl transactions from a checking account" . "btw, there's a Free libofx or whatever too, iirc" . Andrew asked if this "might be something that GNUe common could have, or something like that?" Dan said "I think OFX ( is an xml format" , and should therefore be fairly easy to integrate with GNUe.

14. GNUe - not part of GNOME

1�Oct�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 02 Oct 2002"

Topics: Why GNUe?

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

Jason Cater (jcater) noted that the welcome page on the website said "GNU Enterprise is a meta-project of the GNU Project, designed to collect Enterprise software for the GNU system in a single location (much like the GNOME project collects Desktop software)." Especially since the word "GNOME" was a hyperlink, this might be misconstrued as implying that GNUe was part of GNOME. Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) agreed, saying "i am one that made the analogy - as gnome and gnue are the only two meta projects of GNU project (and now dotGNU)" . Jason understood "why you did the analogy - I just wonder if it'll backfire" . Peter Sullivan (psu) said that he had put the "collecting" reference up front, as the three numbered paragraphs underneath were meant to relate to the tabbed sections across the top, but he appreciated Jason's point. He suggested removing the hyperlink to GNOME. "I think a link somewhere on the front page to GNU is fair enough - but once again maybe further down."

15. Status of Reports and Integrator

1�Oct�2002�Archive Link: "[IRC] 02 Oct 2002"

Topics: Reports, Integrator

People: Jason Cater,�Derek Neighbors

Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) asked about doing cross-tab queries. Jason Cater (jcater) said this could be done "using the reporting package" but "it's a pain in the ass - there may be a better way in recent versions" . Derek said he needed "integrator and reports like yesterday" . Jason said "reports is there - if we would just sit down and define the output tags :) - so we could do something useful with the output (like, um, print it :) - /me is using the mailmerge w/RTF feature extensively now" .

Sharon And Joy

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