Revision [1128]

This is an old revision of ExpectationsManagement made by PhilDaintree on 2008-02-15 22:28:41.


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webERP Administration and Roadmaps

webERP is currently administered by Phil Daintree and Tim Schofield. We really could do with some help though and looking for others with skills in any of the following functions:

We, as with most open source developers, are both voluntary and offer our services on the clear understanding that we are NOT responsible for your installation and that the software is offered and used without warranty etc as per the GPL version 2.

Suggestions for improvement are certainly encouraged but most of all we welcome development work done in accordance with the development guidelines against the latest CVS code. Bringing development work in that was made against older code is more difficult and if you wish to be in a position to use later versions of webERP with the new functionality made available with each release it pays to be pro-active in donating the development work you've done back to the project.

Development Philosophy - Road Map

Note: This is a personal statement of Phil Daintree's and not necessarily the view of Tim Schofield the other project admin of webERP
I want to use webERP to help businesses and to develop useful software. Obviously, software that is useful has a value and businesses are prepared to pay for this work. To ensure that my work is useful I want to work with businesses with specific needs and for which they are prepared to pay for - on the understanding that it goes into the project in return for my charging a reduced fee. This is a win-win, since :

It follows from the above circumstances that I am not able to publish a road-map for my development because different roads get taken depending on what developments businesses wish to sponsor. If you have a road-map for development you require and are prepared to sponsor - then please do let me know. I am not sure how Tim's development agenda works.

Work that is donated to the project I will include provided it does not compromise the goals of the project and coding conventions - if it compromises the coding conventions I will make an honest attempt to convert it to be consistent with the existing code base. In practise there are a number of reasons why code contributions to webERP have been limited but are probably also the reasons why businesses seem to like the system:

There are a couple of forks of webERP and the reasons for the forks are a useful history lesson that teach us what to expect in the future:

1. Open-Accounting forked for a number of reasons - the main one at the time was that Sherif (Omar - the developer of OA) required right to left language (Arabic) and gettext which I was not ready to explore at the time. Also, one of webERP's primary goals has always been to have code readable by business people (of which I am one). I am not interested in programming niceties and avoid object orientation techniques (OO) because it is not intuitive (at least to me and I believe most business folk). That's not to say that OO will not be used where the code re-use argument is overwhelming - it is used quite extensively in transaction scripts. I suspect that Sherif, steeped in programming theory was not prepared to carry me along and put up with my whinging! Open Accounting has become Front Accounting and it is probably "better" than webERP in terms of programming niceties OO, functions everywhere, a maize of directories etc. However, webERP has left it behind in terms of functionality (I think this can be regarded as a fact) and certainly code readability (my opinion!).

2. edgeERP forked in 2007 because Steve was uncomfortable with my stance described above where I require a sponsor for development and this apparently is anti-open-source. This angered him to the point where he became very abusive in an email to me and I not wishing to have any more involvement with him, removed him as a developer as a consequence. I was also critical of the contribution of some purported developers of webERP - where development work they had done for clients on webERP had not been given back to the community (and I think may still not have been published). Whilst I accept this may not be a legal requirement it is certainly contrary to the spirit of open-source and definitely contrary to the reasons why I donated the code in the first place. Ultimately, actions (or lack of) speak much louder than all the words and promises. A lovely irony is that my requiring sponsorship for development only came about because I felt like I was carrying a team of consultants who were making money from my efforts - my wife felt I was a mug to carry on with it and this was the compromise (hey I enjoy it - at least when there are no nasty conflicts!) The lesson here is that people who are developers of webERP will only stay listed as such if they are actively contributing - and will not be allowed to stay listed indefinitely possibly for self promotional purposes - unless they are contributing code. We are much better off with less ego and more development work!

The "Road Map" for webERP is up to the reader then - in the words of MS "anywhere you want to go..." subject to the caveats above !
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