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Re: Seek more attention; Re: Better tools for community cohesion?


I have some thoughts here that somewhat back up what Erik has said but may help clarify things and avoid some misunderstandings.  I am hoping this will help describe the problems involved and what LedgerSMB needs going forward, as well as roles of packagers etc.

First I want to say that yes, we are always working on making the installation easier.   This is needed. We all know this.  If people, particularly consultants can't install the software, they won't and we lose out on market share.  I think we are all on the same page here.  Solving technical problems relating to installation is a priority but of course we need reports of those problems which are detailed enough for us to understand what is the problem.  Packagers can solve some of these problems and I think that was what Erik was mentioning above.  Some more problems meed to be addressed by the developers.  One thing we have been looking at addressing at Efficito (as a contribution to the software) is better error handling when the database doesn't get created properly.  These sorts of problems need to be solved as a general part of the user experience, particularly as a way of courting consultants and developers.

And if all you want is something to handle basic accounting from one system, that's good enough but if you want a program to run your business, accessible for a bunch of people,  that only gets you started.   We really don't want to automate tampering with your PostgreSQL setup and so there are a lot of things that are outside our software and our responsibility.  There may be room for people to put together simple installation bundles, but those will only be applicable to a portion of our userbase.  It also won't address all the other things that go into management, like deciding how wide to open things up security-wise or the like.  It is not an area I want to get into but I would be happy to provide advice to anyone trying.

It also doesn't really get you started setting up the software to handle all of your needs.  This requires sitting and thinking through the workflows, seeing what is required, and so forth.

I got involved in Efficito not because of the difficulty in installation. I charged and still charge a low flat rate for installation and setup.   But the thing is providing a really good hosting service means providing those services that go into the setup, installation, and more importantly maintenance that are well beyond the scope of LedgerSMB per se.  Want someone to make sure is something really bad happens (oops, we dropped the database!) we can restore the data to the point shortly before that happened?  Want someone to talk you through the security considerations of set up and set things up as securely as you can manage?  These are outside the LedgerSMB program's control but they are the most important and complex parts of managing the software.

So long story short, (TL;DR), yes, we are working on making the setup easier.  There are, however, hard limits.  Some of those limits we are up against.  Some others we are not.  We will keep working. 
Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

Efficito:  Hosted Accounting and ERP.  Robust and Flexible.  No vendor lock-in.
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