[kwlug-disc] Continued: OpenSource Me!]

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Mon Dec 22 10:24:09 EST 2008


Can you decompose some of the functionality to development stages or 
releases?

Insurance Squared Inc. wrote, On 12/22/2008 10:07 AM:
> 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). 

What am I missing? Whether it's a browser on Linux or a browser on MS, 
should it not be the same? i.e. No (initial?) need for native desktop 
MS coding?

If you stage things and initially write for Firefox (perhaps even a 
firefox add-in?), can you K.I.S.S. and worry about other browsers and 
/ or the MS desktop later? What about OpenOffice Base since it's cross 
-platform?

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

Any reason why you couldn't, for your MS 'server' folks, do a Linux vm 
to run under vmplayer? Worry about a native MS port later, if ever? 
e.g. If you can be an appliance, are there not a number of LAMP 
appliance distros out there you can leverage off of?

	I know there's LAMPs out there to run under native windows, however, 
for the moment, do you want the complexity of inserting your app into 
current environment, or can you require, for the moment, your own 
appliance, such as within your own vm.

I keep hearing about 'iterative development' - can your user interface 
be browser only for the moment? Make it 'pretty' later?

On the other hand, I keep hearing in the back of my head something 
John said a while ago ... essentially, if it isn't eye candy, 
marketing wise, it ain't going nowhere.

The other thing I've heard ... the very hardest part about an 
application is perfecting the business rules. I remember how 
subrogation bedevilled our developers when it was added after the fact.

FWIW.



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