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Re: [GNUe] Re: GNUe (was 'What's up?')

From: James Thompson
Subject: Re: [GNUe] Re: GNUe (was 'What's up?')
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 13:57:23 -0600
User-agent: KMail/1.6.1

On Tuesday 16 March 2004 11:42 am, address@hidden wrote:
> My acessment of the situation is that this is a huge undertaking, and is
> understaffed.  

This is an understatement.  Very few of us are working on GNUe as part of our 
"real" jobs.  

> There are interesting dribbles of work all over the map, 
> but closure seems to be a problem, and the package seems to be melting
> down under it's own weight.

This is partially because the tools and common library are driven in a needs 
based mannor.  I will say that common is fairly stable.  Changes for the last 
few releases have required few changes to existing applications.

> I would like to see a straightforward path to go from ground zero to
> database forms that takes less than a page to describe, and gets you
> going.  This might exist, but 1/2 day milling through what I had to work
> with didn't yield it, so there seems to be a problem somewhere.

I guess we don't cover this well in the manuals as they go into building more 
complex forms :(  I'll go thru a quick, quick step thru here.  If someone 
needs more details just ask, i'll do what I can to provide them.

1. Install gnue-common, gnue-forms, gnue-designer and their dependencies

2. Edit connections.conf to setup entries for any database systems you are
  using.  Here is a sample entry from my /usr/local/gnue/etc/connections..conf

  comment = Math Production Database
  provider = psycopg
  host =
  dbname = prod

3. Open gnue-designer.  You now have 2 options.  File -> New -> From Wizard or 
   Drag and Drop from the schema navigator in the lower left.  I'll go thru     
   the Wizard as it's nice for creating master/detail forms

3a.  File -> New -> From Wizard
3b.  Choose Multi-Block, Page Wizard
3c.  Go thru the steps clicking <next> at the end of each step
     *Give it a title  <next>
     *Choose your connection [prod] from step 2  <next>
     *Choose the table <next> (I'm using a zipcode table here)
     *Click "Select All", then click "Add >", then choose your arrangement, 
      I'm selecting "Grid Format" (sort of like a spreadsheet) <next>
     *I'm not adding another table so change to "no" <next>

4.  File -> Save As  (i'll save as zip.gfd)

5.  Exit designer

6.  gnue-forms zip.gfd

7.  Your form should come up after login.  Press <f8> then <f9> to have it  
    load all data from the table.  You can edit, delete, insert however you
    wish at this point.  You have a fully functional application.

> This architecture is an onion, and the inner layers haven't solidified
> enough to build on top of it, and results aren't coming fast enough to
> maintain the momentum.  There could be lots of work going on behind the
> scenes, but it isn't getting closure.

Again, we are very needs based.  I consider the core of the gnue toolset to be 
gnue-common, which is actually quite solid.  This is good enough for doing 
custom 2-tier apps without issues.  By using only gnue-common data access you 
end up with a system that can migrate across databases via small changes in 
your connections.conf file.  You can mix and match sources of data without 
regard to their actual storage system (postgresql, oracle, appserver, etc).  
You also get quite a large feature set some, but not all, of which is 
described at

The gnue-appserver team has been making huge strides lately and today have 
re-added an application called hotline to gnue-contrib after we accidentally 
deleted it in the move to subversion 1.0 :)  I know little about it other 
than it's using the newly released gnue-appsever as it's backend, and I 
believe a few of the developers use it to track customer data at their 
business, I think.   Maybe one of them can expand on this.

> In reality, if I want to incorporate this package into my development
> life, I'm going to want to start small, and see how far it can go.  Show
> me small, and we'll talk about dreamware when small is solid.

It's my hope that gnue-contrib will begin to provide those small, but usefull 
samples for people. But did you have anything more specific in mind?  

> I think this is a good idea, but it needs a little CPR.  I think to
> attract the forces that are going to get it to critical mass, it needs to
> do something demostrably useful right out of the box, and submit that
> until that happens, the casual browser is going to keep right on walking.

This thread has started discussions in irc about possibly throwing together a 
morphix CD with a gnue demo on it.  Not sure where/if it'll work into the 

I'm also hoping to take the web-po thing (shudder, i need a name for that :) 
and turn it into a turnkey cd install along the lines of IPCop.  This would 
setup a postgresql database, apache, gnue out of the box.  I'd really like to 
see this expanded into a GNUe Small Business Server that includes lots of 
little functionalities (samba, cups, ltsp, dhcp, etc, etc) But again that 
will depend upon free time.

> But I'll put my time where my mouth is.  I don't know any of the
> developers of this package per se, but if this goal is considered useful
> by the powers that be, I would be willing to spend some time cleaning up
> and documenting the "getting started" process, including a meaningful
> excercise to convince a "buyer" that this thing works.

This would be great.  A few of us have started manuals for gnue common, forms, 
and designer but time has not allowed them to be fleshed out and polished 
nearly as well as needed.

> I won't do this unsupported - somebody that has worked (or worked on)
> this system needs to step up and tell me that I will be well supported if
> I take this on.

What kind of support would you require?  I'm sure several of us would be happy 
to answer questions and help get you up and running if you're willing to work 
with the team. 

Take Care

James Thompson    138 Cardwell Hall  Manhattan, Ks   66506    785-532-0561 
Kansas State University                          Department of Mathematics

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