[kwlug-disc] Continued: OpenSource Me!]

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Mon Dec 22 10:07:02 EST 2008

Continuing on the vein of starting a new OSS software project, I'd 
appreciate some input and advice on the following hurdles.

My personal need is for the database to run on a local linux server and 
access it via browser.  Super easy, I create the specs and our developer 
whips it up in php/mysql.  If I want to make it more modular, I seperate 
the database functions so it allows other databases.  This would also 
work well for those that have some number of employees and the ability 
to run a local linux server.  It doesn't work well for independent folks 
running MS on their desktops.  That segment of the market is actually 
far larger than the users that have my profile.  I'm questioning the 
tradeoff between looking after these folks and the additional work and 
costs (remember, I'm paying for developer time, at market rates). 

It seems that if I'm going to allow easy cross platform useage and a 
non-browser based interface (i.e. both a linux based system accessed via 
browser and a local desktop windows app) then I've got quite a few 
hurdles to overcome.  Specifically:
- I think I have to go with some C variant instead of php.  More costs, 
and more effort.  We're not a C shop.
- Screen/output have to be *really* modular.  HTML output with smarty 
templates, easy.  Abilitiy for one set of code to run smarty templates 
and whatever it is that windows uses, way more complex.  I guess I even 
have to start thinking about print functions.
- same thing with the database.  It's one thing to have a linux/php 
system access a couple different common linux databases.  It seems like 
a whole other level of complexity to use mysql as a database and I don't 
know what on windows. 

And I don't expect this to be a typical OSS project, even if 
successful.  Given my non-tech marketplace, we'll be the only ones 
doingin any coding.  So hoping for someone else to port isn't going to 

Are these hurdles easy to overcome? Should I just do a linux system and 
worry about MS later?

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