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Re: Draft 2 of Direction Statement

Funny, I responded to this but you never got it?  Oh well....

On 9/26/06, Alejandro Imass <..hidden..> wrote:

On Mon, 2006-09-25 at 17:51 -0700, Chris Travers wrote:
> Goal 1:  LedgerSMB as Business Infrastructure
> In order to meet changing needs of a diverse market it is important
> that as LedgerSMB grows, that it becomes an easily extensible (and
> even in some cases invisible) part of the data infrastructure of a
> business.  In essence, it must eventually be possible to separate the
> web user interface from the software as a whole.  Important
> requirements we should strive towars are:
>     1)  Separation of mechanism from interface

In fact, IMHO the UI should be split in two layers. One generic UI layer
that defines "what" needs to be done, in XUL, UIML or similar and a
presentation layer that transforms the generic UI into a GUI for the
web, a handheld, text interface, or whatever. The advantage is that the
generic UI can be directly influenced by the business process, so you
can contextualize the "screen" for the given business process that the
user will be executing. This eliminates completely the old paradigm of
all screens being the same or similar, a paradigm that was already
weakened by web apps in general, but for some reason FOSS ERP developers
can't seem to get off their heads. One of the things I liked initially
of SL was the dynamic placement of buttons regarding context, I though
it was quite cool; most "ERPs" still depend on CRUD and BREAD bars at
the top of the screen.

Well, I think the current idea of XHTML might meet that need.  XHTML +
CSS would allow for that type of contextualization you are talking
about.  There is also talk about using a generic XML layer as a base.

IMO, I see no reason why it would be necessary to separate XML and
XHTML interfaces.  However, it might be cool to allow XUL documents to
be generated, etc. from generic XML descriptions.

One possibility is that one could have a generic data description
layer (necessary for the XML API) which could be converted into XHTML
templates or XUL files from time to time.  These files could be
regenerated periodically, but the main app would still work primarily
through direct interface with the main application.

Just a set of thoughts.
Best Wishes,
Chris Travers