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Re: Future of LedgerSMB: Ideas and RFC

Hey guys and Chris.

I know I've been absent from the project, but i want to share a few
thoughts. First off, I want to thank you for all the effort on the
project, both 1.2 and 1.3. And for all the support I received while I
was contributing to the project.

After a year+ of development, and the investment of some resources, I
decided I needed to drop it. One of the main reasons I quit was that
the milestones and deadlines  started to get farther. And as someone
on the list already said, i started to see post about 2.0 while 1.3
was not even out. So it seemed that all the hard work was in vain.

One of the main reasons i started to code 1.3 was to offer my
customers a secure alternative to a fork of sql-ledger we built.
However, we never really tested 1.3 in a production environment since
it wasn't ready. So i had to direct my coders to support our fork
while 1.3 was out and a lot of business opportunities were lost.

I have to say that i really like and love the project. And i would be
willing to contribute with some code/ideas/translation/coffee/anything
to speed the process of 1.3 being released. Please let me know if my
help is wanted/required to make 1.3 see the light.

Best regards.

David Mora

2011/5/18 Erik Huelsmann <..hidden..>:
> Hi Chris,
> Thanks for taking the time to write  down what your ideas are about
> the future direction of the project! And thanks for your continued
> support of the project too.
>> Many of you may be frustrated at the pace of development of LedgerSMB
>> and the fact that 1.3 has not yet been released.  Development may
>> appear to have slowed. Public discussions become less frequent...
> From where I stand - my interest in the project is only quite recent
> [fourth quarter last year] - it looked like the project was slowed
> down so much that it was not an option to actually start using the
> software. It must be noted that I'm specially interested in the new
> model for recording relations between people and companies to
> interface data with other systems - a requirement next to support for
> general accounting and AR management.
>> For the last few years, LedgerSMB has achieved significant growth.
>> Some of that growth has come at an organizational cost and for that I
>> apologize to the community.  Now I have to try to help put the
>> organizational stuff back together.
> That's very good and encouraging news!
>> In reality, far from being quiet, LedgerSMB 1.3 has had a huge amount
>> of commissioned work done on it, not only for the core system (where
>> the customer/vendor management, reconciliation, and payment interfaces
>> have been completely rewritten) but also in areas of addons for fixed
>> asset handling, template transactions, so forth.  We have eliminated a
>> lot of performance bottlenecks for larger databases, and provided a
>> much higher level of security than previous versions.  This has been a
>>  very ambitious project and we are much better off for it.
> From other people's reactions I concluded it's not clear enough
> "what's in it for them". In other words, in what ways does 1.3
> actually contributes to the goals they may be trying to achieve.
> Personally, being a new user for LedgerSMB, I'm missing documentation:
> setup docs, but also admin docs, docs describing the roles of the
> different modules, etc. Basically the information I need to asses
> whether I may need to investigate a certain module before being able
> to use LSMB for my business.
>> I would like to propose a few specific directional approaches and get
>> feedback from the community before proceeding.
>> I think the major priorities at this point need to be:
>> 1)  Getting 1.3 out the door.
> To me, this means being able to develop using the customers model,
> differentiating between companies and people. To John Locke this seems
> to mean the a stable Reconciliation interface. What does this mean to
> others?
> Of all the people reading this list: what does "getting 1.3" mean to
> you? Do you feel like it's an improvement? If so, why, or if not, why
> not?
> Reading the sneak preview description, 1.3 means (technically):
>  * New customer architecture
>  * Rewritten employee/HR module
>  * Rewritten authorization/security
>  * 4-eye principle
>  * Rewritten bank reconciliation
> I'd say these make up a nice list already, but maybe there's more,
> which isn't on the 1.3 sneak peak page and hasn't been mentioned yet?
> I can see why people would not upgrade immediately from 1.2 to 1.3 if
> LSMB is working for them. That's only normal: I'm part of the
> Subversion project and while 1.7 has been under development for 2
> years now, there are still people using 1.4. However, that version
> works for them. It's fine; no need to upgrade.
>> 2)  Focusing heavily on community building
>> 3)  Trying to build partnerships with other open source business
>> projects (perhaps GNU Med and others?)
>> To this end I would like to tentatively suggest the following:
>> The first is a regular beta release schedule for 1.3...  Maybe every
>> other Tuesday?
> Are you sure? Aren't you going overboard a bit on the enthousiastic
> side now? :-) I'm serious though: my experience is that creating a
> release is generally more work than you think. You need to document
> the changes since last time, create tar archives, create and send an
> announcement, maybe update a project blog, etc. Easily takes all
> afternoon. Time you can't spend fixing bugs or coaching co-developers
> find their way around in the code base. For my own project, I'm using
> a 2-month release interval. We're a project of 4 developers, with
> differing levels of activity, just like LSMB.
>> There are some committed fixes for 1.2 which have not made it into a
>> release.  I would like to release this as soon as possible.  However,
>> given the fact that bug reports have slowed, I think it is likely that
>> it is not likely that 1.2 will see another release absent developing
>> problems  like issues caused by new versions of Perl.
>> I'd also like to encourage anyone who is interested in contributing to
>> start looking heavily at 1.3.  This is a place where you can earn a
>> name in the CONTRIBUTORS file, or possibly even commit privileges.
>> But in addition I would like to see what the community thinks.  What
>> do you think we need to do to pull things back together and bring the
>> project to the next level?
> Well, I guess your priorities are good: find out what people think
> needs to be fixed/stabilized before 1.3 is usable. For 1.4+ it's
> probably a good idea to find a mode where releases get only big enough
> to address a small number of specific issues (and the regular bug
> fixes) on the point releases. That might satisfy only a small group of
> current users, but the continued development could easily attract new
> users too. That would be a net benefit.
> My $0.02.
> Bye,
> Erik.
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