[kwlug-disc] Pizza shop software

Cedric Puddy cedric at thinkers.org
Thu Feb 24 11:32:19 EST 2011

My experience with using FLOSS accounting software from an unhealthy community was not great.  This was back in 2003 that I tried this last.

The community around the particular project was not completely dead, but it was overly dominated by _the_ core developer, who liked to keep others out of his sandbox.  We discovered that the system would spontaneously go out of balance, and that the proximate cause was insufficiently scrubbed database inputs which would cause some parts of a transaction to be recognised but not others.  Somehow this had to do with what web browser was used to access the software.

The developers "solution" was to shrug, tell us that it was our fault (still not clear how) (we had, I would note, purchased a support contract from him as well!), and tell us that all we had to do was manually search through a couple thousand lines of SELECT results to find the transaction that was triggering the problem.  

Apparently an input sanitization bug that causes the accounting system to corrupt itself silently was not worthy of interest.  Hmmm....

We went back to having our account just keep the data in Simply Accounting.  We still use that particular FLOSS accounting software for generating invoices and emailing them out to clients (it did a fine job of that), but nothing else.

I think everyone could probably guess who I'm talking about, but it doesn't really matter what the project was -- knowing wouldn't save you from having to do your own evaluation of the community health and attitude, and by this point there's no shortage of rubbish on that particular project anyway :)


On 2011-02-24, at 1:04 AM, Paul Nijjar wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 11:25:42PM -0500, Chris Frey wrote:
>> Is anyone aware of Open Source software projects that are geared toward
>> running a pizza place?  Such as taking orders, running the website, and
>> perhaps managing inventory?
>> Generic stuff, I guess, but I'm sure that such software could be tuned
>> for Pizza specific needs, and I'm a little surprised that nothing FLOSS
>> shows up in Google.
> I was not aware of such systems. You may have found these already, but
> it looks like your two best bets might be L'ane, and PHPPointOfSale:
> http://wiki.l-ane.net/wiki/Restaurant
> http://www.phppointofsale.com/
> I don't think either of these is a perfect fit, but the first link is
> being used for pizza places. 
> There are lots of interesting stories in this space. There is one
> company that boasts about the value of open source and then keeps the
> code proprietary. There is another that releases the binaries for no
> cost and then charges for source code. There are also a lot of
> nearly-dead projects, of course. 
> Personally, I would never want to trust a business-critical system to
> something that does not have a large user community and is not
> frequently updated -- preferably by people who make their livings
> doing the updating. For this reason I am not surprised that FLOSS does
> not do so well in this space. 
> - Paul
> -- 
> http://pnijjar.freeshell.org 
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