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GNUe Traffic #92 For 2�Aug�2003

Editor: Peter Sullivan

By Peter Sullivan

"my wife has been using cvs forms lately" - "so you get direct QA feedback, sometimes in a painful manner?"

Table Of Contents


This covers the three main mailing lists for the GNU Enterprise project, plus the #gnuenterprise IRC channel.

1. Planned Designer features

24�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 24 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Designer

People: Andrew Mitchell,�Jason Cater,�Mike Vincent

Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) asked "how's designer coming along?" Jason Cater (jcater) said "I've used it for several forms the past week. the main deficiencies I'm hitting now are: 1. To reorder widgets, I resort to a text editor - 2. No good way to move fields/labels from one page to another. #1 will be resolved after 0.5.1 release - #2 I have to think about" . Mike Vincent (Vee2d2) suggested "cut/copy n' paste?" . Jason agreed - he already had an "undo" button.

2. 0.5.1 Release Plans

24�Jul�2003�-�27�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 24 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Common

People: James Thompson,�Derek Neighbors,�der.hans,�Jason Cater,�Jeff Bailey,�Mike Vincent

James Thompson (jamest) reported "looks like i'll be getting back into GNUE pretty good in the next week" - he would hope to be able to do a release soon. Mike Vincent (Vee2d2) felt that the current CVS code was ripe for release as 0.5.1. James said he "was thinking about updating some common docs based upon some stuff I've done recently - but I can't see holding up a release for it as I bet" Jason Cater (jcater) "and myself are the only ones currently baseing non-gnue apps on common - which is a shame as common rocks" , as previously discussed in Issue�#61, Section�#3� (19�Dec�2002:�Using GNUe Common in other projects) .

The next day, James chaged the IRC topic to announce "New Pre-Releases available -" . Jeff Bailey (jbailey) said he would try to do some Debian packages (*.deb) for these pre-releases over the weekend.

The next day, Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) said he would be keen to have Debian packages for the pre-releases - "/me is in a testing mood (but would rather test debs) - this is MOSTLY because i have GNUe training courses scheduled (yeah)" - also der.hans (LuftHans) "desperately needs debs, so he wont do the unthinkable and use php for an application instead of GNU Enterprise :) - so im down with testing debian packages" .

The next day, Derek gave a link to the "first official GNU Enterprise training" .

3. Flat file 'database' driver for GNUe

25�Jul�2003�-�26�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 25 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Common

People: Jeff Bailey,�Derek Neighbors,�Andrew Mitchell

Jeff Bailey (jbailey) asked "is there a SQL based driver that uses flatfiles I can use for a testsuite?" If not, "I might have to write one then." The next day, Derek Neighbors (dneighbo) noted that Andrew Mitchell (ajmitch) had been "looking at a flatfile driver (iirc) - so there might be some code there (or on his pc) - or at least he might be able to tell you where he scraped his knees :)" .

Later, Andrew confirmed "I started on something for CSV files, iirc - and the gadfly (a mini-DB) driver was working" . However, he wondered "is there any real reason for using flatfiles?" Jeff said "Yup: Testsuites." Andrew said "well gadfly is probably minimal enough for that - since it doesn't require a db server. Plus it supports SQL without you having to write stuff to do so :)" Jeff asked "Does it act as a python database compliant with" the DB-SIG API? Andrew said "mostly" . Jeff looked at gadfly, but was not convinced - "I just want something that's python db-compliant, supports as much of SQL92 as is possible." .

4. GNUe Integrator for replication and synchronisation

29�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 29 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

People: Thierry Michel,�Jeff Bailey

Thierry Michel (thierry) asked "is there some replication/synchronization toolkit in gnue ?" Jeff Bailey (jbailey) thought that " Integrator might do that" - "Looks like it's only in CVS though" . Thierry said he might be able to find a ""profit project" to finance this part" Jeff said "I think generally that's how most of GNUe is developped. One of the core team gets a contract that needs it, so they code it. =)"

5. Documentation and training for GNUe

29�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 29 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

People: der.hans,�Jason Cater

der.hans (LuftHans) needed some documentation for GNUe, and offered to write some of it himself - "I have a consulting project to do and I keep threatening Derek that I'm gonna do it in PHP if I can't get going with GNUe soon - what I need is a basic, "how to get started with GNUe" or something" . Jason Cater (jcater) said he "was actually working on docs earlier this week" . der.hans explained "mostly I'm needing to put a front end on a simple db right now, but in the end I think I have an opportunity to provide a full customer relations and inventory system for them, they'll probably stick with phpledger for medium term" . Jason said "I know it isn't much, but was the Form's Developer's Guide any help at all? I started a Designer's User Guide earlier this week - but haven't gotten far with it at all - it is at - (much, much sparser than the developer's guide)" . der.hans said he had "gone through it a couple of times, it's out of date, but did get me somewhat started" . Jason asked "whatever happened to derek's training sessions he was advertising in the next week or so" ? der.hans said this was actually scheduled for the end of August, not July.

6. Business Objects in App Server

30�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 30 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Application Server

People: Thierry Michel,�Reinhard M�ller

Thierry Michel (thierry) asked whether object relationships ( "1:1, 1:n, n:m relationships" ) were handled in Application Server. Reinhard M�ller (reinhard) said this was planned, but not yet implemented. However, "i'm not sure if we will directly support n:m - what we have planned is that you can have a property of an object that "points" to another object. Like if invoice is an object - invoice.number might be an integer - invoice.amount might be another integer - and invoice.customer might be an object of type customer" . Thierry explained that he was "implementing a transparent mapping system based on CMP" (Container-managed persistant) "and a server based on XMLRPC protocol which serves business object" and was "trying to join my work to your work" . He explained some of the details, and Reinhard felt "sounds somewhat similar to what appserver aims at" - as "basically appserver does not much more than providing persistant objects that are stored in database" . Thierry offered to send Reinhard a tarball of his work so far. It was designed to run a database of 50,000 historical resources (newsreels, newspapers, etc) which would eventually be available via the internet. He noted that his approach to business objects was quite different to GNUe Application Server - "registration is partially different" .

7. GNUe Architecture

30�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 30 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Application Server, Common

People: James Thompson,�Jason Cater,�Mike Vincent

James Thompson (jamest) said "gnue is really at this time all about the tools" , although people like Mike Vincent (Vee2d2) "are building apps with these tools" . He explained "gnue was to be two things - a set of tools to make building and maintaining gnue apps easy - a set of apps that implement an erp" (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. However, "it's taken years to get the tools to the state they are in today" - "realistically I think what is gonig to have to happen is the tools people still have to work on tools - and people like Vee2d2 have to tell us their needs - as we're very needs based in tool development" . He imagined "that the erp side of gnue will grow rather haphasardly(sp?) - with each set of apps driving the needs of the tools. I know that's how it's been working as several of us use the tools to implement in house systems - and a lot of features of those tools wouldn't exist if we hadn't needed them in production" .

It was asked whether GNUe would use a relational database or an object database. James said "well, we support both - theoretically - appserver is even an object server" but users of GNUe as of time of writing used it with traditional relational databases. Jason Cater said that Common, the part of GNUe that the other GNUe tools used to talk to databases, was designed "to (theoretically) support oodbms" via the GNUe Application Server. He said "we use pluggable handlers for everything - so for databases, you could use mysql, postgres, oracle, etc - same for communications - corba, xml-rpc, etc" . James agreed - "we try not to tie anything down to 1 limited "thing" - where thing = ui widget set, communications protocol, etc" .

8. Works Orders and Product Management in GNUe-SB/Arias

30�Jul�2003�Archive Link: "[IRC] 30 Jul 2003"

Summary By Peter Sullivan

Topics: Small Business

People: Mike Vincent,�James Thompson,�Chan Min Wai

Mike Vincent (Vee2d2) said that "If you had bills of materials and workorders.. perhaps you would just place a po for the raw materials, then create a workorder to have the materials turned into finished products, then since you're outsourcing the actual work.. you could create a po for the service rather than the product.. your work order would handle the conversion of raw material to finished product.. but IIRC, you dont do things like that, currently, in Arias." He explained that a "bill of material (BOM) is like a recipe.. it lists raw materials needed to create something.. a workorder tells you how many somethings to make.. usually the flow is something like.. create a BOM, create a WO, kit the WO to take the raw materials described by the BOM from inventory and allocate them to the WO, complete the WO which then puts the finished product into inventory - there may need to be other steps in the process too.. like scrap or rework" . James Thompson (jamest) asked "you're doing inventory control system now right?" Mike said "not really.. the precursor to it, product mgmt - really using it as an excuse to learn enough to perhaps tackle something like the inventory system" . Chan Min Wai (dcmwai) noted that "A New version of Arias actually can do BOM , and WO (in different name cause I don't know the standad name, I called it composit item control)" - this functionality was in the current CVS version.

Mike gave a specific example of the sort of business process he was talking about - "say it's cds you're making.. you'll send a PO to a vendor to buy blank CDs.. then create a WO to have the blanks turned into Steel Buns Workout discs. You have a BOM that says to make one Steel Buns Workout disc you need 1 blank cd, 1 cd label, 1 jewelcase, etc.. so you need 1000 cds, open a WO for 1000pcs, kit the WO, the system uses the kitting operation to take 1000 cds, jewelcases, and anything else listed on the BOM out of inventory (or maybe moved to a WIP [work in process]) location), you process the cds and when finished close the WO which adds 1000 Steel Buns Workout discs to your inventory." Chan asked "So the WO is being Send within the PO on the Vendor is that the idea? And by using the WO, I can actuall generated a Deliver order to the Vendor as well.." Mike replied "I've always thought of workorders as internal processes, but I guess you could do it that way. Since you're outsourcing the work, I would imagine you sending a po with drop ship instructions to the 1st vendor, create a WO, then when the 2nd vendor tells you they received the material you receive in the 1st PO and kit the WO.. you could have another PO for the cost of service the 2nd vendor's providing, but rather than 'Receive in' the product that vendor sends you you would close the WO.." James asked "how far along is all of this?" Mike said anything from "1 month to 1 year ;0" . Chan said that "Arias will be the 1st to test that :)" .

Sharon And Joy

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