What to do?

Questions specific to SolydK Back Office
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Arjen Balfoort
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What to do?

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 24 Sep 2014 17:56

I've been working on some package updates for SolydK BO and after 2 days of working I haven't been able to update Typo3.
This was just the first of the BO packages that need an update (keeping in mind that it has to run on Jessie as well).

Until now, the complexity of the applications (updating an existing database is always a risky business) caused at least 8 hours of work for each updated package and even then, the updates were troublesome.

I ask myself whether or not this is worth it.
With only 910 downloads, SolydK BO is the runt of the litter, but as I said, takes most of the time to create.

What do you think?


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ScottQuier
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Re: What to do?

Postby ScottQuier » 24 Sep 2014 18:28

I think you are asking if the BO edition is actually being used and, if so, by how many individuals.

I know a few people have posted questions and comments on the forum about BO. The best indicator I can think of would be the download count.

Something else that might be an indicator would be the number of times certain package was updated - a package that is unique to the BO edition. That would give you a good idea of the number of BO customers we have.

So, if you know of a package the meets that criteria, that would give you a head-count. Once you have that, then the question becomes one that only you, keeping your vision for the distro in mind, can answer.

That having been said, another question to answer might be, "Are there any packages in the BO edition that can not be installed on our soon-to-be-born SolydXK 'stable'?" If everything can be installed on our stable, then I might think that the BO edition could easily be considered superfluous or the ROI considered to be too low (negative).
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Re: What to do?

Postby Rocky » 24 Sep 2014 18:44

I'm not familiar with the BO edition but does it use the SolydXK updater ? If so could you push a message to users asking for a response ? This would enable you to assess actual usage then as Scott says do the cost- benefit analysis?
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Re: What to do?

Postby gcoulthard » 24 Sep 2014 19:17

For my purposes (teaching and demonstration), I would question whether it was worthwhile. In fact, I've considered returning to Netrunner and adding the Apache web server and necessary services (e.g., Dokuwiki, etc.), so I may not even be a target user anymore. Just my two cents.
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Re: What to do?

Postby MAYBL8 » 24 Sep 2014 20:34

I have plans to use the OrangeHRM software in the future and would like to replace my Microsoft Sharepoint server with Typo3 but I am the only IT person supporting quite a few people and I'm not sure when I can get a fair amount of time devoted to learning these new packages. I would like to see it still supported


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Re: What to do?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 27 Sep 2014 13:19

Personally, if it were me, I'd drop it after merging the not-so-problematic stuff into BE. And then ask someone in the community to take over BO as a CE (Community Edition). You could leave the page up on the download pages as "Abandoned project looking for maintainer" and in the notice say that it would then be a community edition if someone can take it over, but put in bold red that it is NOT the latest edition and thus is risky and should not be used in production. You might not want to put the downloads up but put it in dev and PM the link to whoever would want to take up the cause. That way you can just abandon it and let it go, and concentrate on BE and the changeovers you planned when Debian Jesse goes stable.

Right now you have WAY too much on your plate. You are doing some changes. Maybe dropping BO and merging some of it (whatever is feasable) with BE is one of the things you need to do right now along with the other changes.

I wouldn't add any Apache/MySQL/Typo or web stuff to BE anyway. That should be reserved for a "server" or "web development" community edition.

Another idea: Maybe on the Community Edition page, also have a list of requested ideas for those looking for a project? Such as "server" or "web development" or "educational", etc.

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Re: What to do?

Postby rokytnji » 27 Sep 2014 16:14

With only 910 downloads,
Seems obvious to me with the work involved. It's your party though.
You gotta decide if you are having fun at your own party.

I have my own issues with custom scripts and system.d lately.
So I know how draining troubleshooting can be.

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Re: What to do?

Postby Orbmiser » 27 Sep 2014 17:47

Yep sometimes Good Idea's do not takeoff or received as needed by the majority of users.
Maybe too much of a niche market for it to be widely use.

Got to figure only a small percentage of total downloads actually still using in day to day use.
Would be nice to be able to query how many specific machines receive specific BO packages updates.
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Zill
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Re: What to do?

Postby Zill » 27 Sep 2014 19:45

I don't know if the SolydXK BO packages are all included in the Debian Popularity Contest but if they are then some statistics are available at http://popcon.debian.org/.

Of course, this does also assume that the BO users have installed and enabled the popularity-contest package!

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Re: What to do?

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 28 Sep 2014 15:06

Thank you all for your feedback.

All BO specific applications are packaged by me and because they are all use their own MySql database it's nearly impossible to create packages that can upgrade the database without the chance of messing things up.

Perhaps we can look for alternatives that are already packaged for Debian, but as you said: it's a niche market and there is not much software available for Debian.

I'll think about it (there's still time).


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Zill
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Re: What to do?

Postby Zill » 28 Sep 2014 16:15

Schoelje: I don't run BO so can't help directly but it seems to me that Typo3, and the associated dependencies, are already Debian packages and so, as BO is currently running Wheezy, it should be (relatively!) straightforward to upgrade when Jessie becomes the new Stable.

I appreciate your point about upgrading "active" databases but this is a fairly standard requirement of the Debian upgrade process for most server admins.

It would be useful to know where exactly are the problems with upgrading Typo3. Have the Debian packages been heavily modified for SolydXK?

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Re: What to do?

Postby fleabus » 02 Oct 2014 13:44

Just a thought. Maybe this has already been covered... How about a Back Office metapackage that can be added to the new SolydXK? That way, if a business user wants to add in the BO stuff they can just grab that. Easier maybe, than maintaing a separate spin? I don't know. The separate spin is already here... :D

Edit:
Hmmm, Ok. Upon rereading the thread maybe that's not such a good idea, since the idea is to get away from maintaining packages that are not widely used.

Maybe Raven's orphan idea is the best one.

I only just thought about it because a friend of mine just got hired in a backoffice-type admin position, and was asking me if I knew of anything easier than trying to get MS Office to do her timekeeping and whatnot. I suggested Solyd.

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Zill
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Re: What to do?

Postby Zill » 02 Oct 2014 15:11

fleabus wrote:... How about a Back Office metapackage that can be added to the new SolydXK? That way, if a business user wants to add in the BO stuff they can just grab that. Easier maybe, than maintaing a separate spin? I don't know. The separate spin is already here...
I don't know about the rest of Back Office but Typo3 is already a Debian metapackage...
roger@dino:~$ apt show typo3
Package: typo3
State: not installed
Version: 4.5.34+dfsg1-1
Priority: optional
Section: web
Maintainer: Christian Welzel <gawain@camlann.de>
Architecture: all
Uncompressed Size: 21.5 k
Depends: typo3-database, typo3-dummy, typo3-src-4.5
Description: web content management system (meta)
TYPO3 is a free Open Source content management system for enterprise purposes on the web and in intranets. It offers full flexibility and extendability while featuring an accomplished set of ready-made interfaces, functions and modules.

The most important key features of TYPO3 are:
* Simple creation of multi language websites with fallback to a default language
* Handling of multi domain websites within a single page tree
* Multi user backend editing with complete GUI customisation using an advanced ACL system
* An integrated workflow management system based on an multi step architecture with editor and supervisor privileges
* Unlimited redefinition of the rendering process using the build-in TypoScript configuration interface or the plugin API
* Thousands of plugins are available in the online TYPO3 extension repository

This package is a metapackage and depends on all TYPO3 packages that are necessary to build a local running TYPO3 installation.
Homepage: http://www.typo3.org

Tags: implemented-in::php, role::metapackage, works-with-format::html, works-with::text

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fleabus
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Re: What to do?

Postby fleabus » 02 Oct 2014 16:00

Zill wrote:I don't know about the rest of Back Office but Typo3 is already a Debian metapackage...
Interesting. And so, for the first time ever, I've downloaded BO and am taking a look. It all looks very useful, especially OrangeHR, SiWapp, Typo3, SeedDMS...

With the exception of Zurmo. Not quite sure what to make of that. Sounds like it's for Business Consultants! ;)

Kidding aside, I'll get my friend over here to take a look.

The fact that it's all completely web based, has a back office web, etc.... Well, all that appeals to me, but I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to these things.

Thanks Zill. :)

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Re: What to do?

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 02 Oct 2014 17:14

Check out the product page on the main site if you want to learn more about the different software.


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fleabus
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Re: What to do?

Postby fleabus » 02 Oct 2014 18:48

Schoelje wrote:Check out the product page on the main site
I like this, It looks like a really useful build. Frankly I'm surprised that it hasn't had more adopters. That just shows that I know nothing of the business software side of things. I would hazard a theory that most businesses are highly specialized, or at least believe themselves to be when it comes to their internal workings. From my own work experience I would also say mired in tradition, "not invented here" syndrome, and casting a wary and jaundiced eye upon any suggestion involving any kind of change, or anything unfamiliar, even if it's shown to be incontrovertibly beneficial. Rightly so in many cases I suppose; I've witnessed my share of disasters... "It's good.. It's really good and all, but not quite what we're looking for..."

Anyway, it's a tough crowd.

OTOH, SKBO seems ideal for what my friend is looking for. I've explained it some, and they seem interested as an alternative to getting MS Office to do their bidding... If it's discontinued, at least I now know about the software. It would be a shame, because you've pulled it all together with an integrating backend. It's a cohesive package deal, a real one-stop turnkey back office.

But if there are no takers, then you should of course not waste the time. I don't know anything about marketing or getting it out there... I'd definitely leave it up there, saying it needs a maintainer. It's very well done. At least keep it in your "ISO Hall of Fame" at downloads.solydkx.

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Re: What to do?

Postby Snap » 03 Oct 2014 08:35

I downloaded BO once and was amazed. For my very small business I don't really need it, but I found it impressive. I talked some friends about it but no one payed any interest in moving from Windows. Some even have Windows servers running for their enterprises... Their servers are often down, of course... I think it's a hard niche to conquer. :roll:
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Re: What to do?

Postby Rocky » 03 Oct 2014 09:20

Snap wrote: For my very small business I don't really need it, but I found it impressive. I talked some friends about it but no one payed any interest in moving from Windows. Some even have Windows servers running for their enterprises... Their servers are often down, of course... I think it's a hard niche to conquer. :roll:
I agree - our business is very small too - never really looked at the Back office edition. Regarding Windows servers I think the big attractions may be Active Directory (control and security convenience) and also the need to run certain SQL based applications on Windows ( as far as I know there are no Linux equivalents - I am not an expert so i may be wrong). For file sharing though I agree Samba and Linux is a simple solution.
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Zill
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Re: What to do?

Postby Zill » 03 Oct 2014 10:15

Rocky wrote:...For file sharing though I agree Samba and Linux is a simple solution.
But only if there are also Windows machines on the same LAN. If the LAN only connects Linux machines then using a MS Windows file sharing protocol (SMB/CIFS) seems rather pointless! NFS is the native (and simple!) file sharing solution for Linux.

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Re: What to do?

Postby jsalpha2 » 03 Oct 2014 10:16

The whole SolydXK project is your labor of love and only you can decide what makes you happy. I don't use Business Edition or Back Office, but remember you saying that you wanted to move in that direction. I just wish you could get some help so you could concentrate on what makes you happy. Maintainers, Crew Members, or having some other programmer who is struggling with a one man distro to merge with you might be the way to go. I myself have no skill or money, but try to help where I can.
Good Luck


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