Webelements - a suggestion

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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Gil Fleming » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:44 am

Pete Tabord wrote: - as far as I can remember use of real name is not compulsory.


Pete, it's in the forum rules section, as Fred had previously pointed out. Personally, I think it's a good rule. I don't think I've seen another user using a nickname - it looks as if he has something to hide. When pressed for his name, he became even more resistant. It made him seem a bit of a weirdo.

I mean, if we had a female user who went by the user name HottieBabeWhoLikesOlderMen, would we allow her into the forum? Hmmmm... I think I might have to use an alternative nickname to support my argument.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:20 am

Well, you can certainly see his name if you go into his profile. I know who he is.

There are dozens of users (I'm an admin, so I can see them all) who don't use their real names, though none of them seem to be prolific posters - here are some examples: lybolmxr, merryflip, unzerokool, flapster...

I would guess all of those are real people, because unless their application includes some identification (they could be lying, of course) they don't get on because we don't want pure spammers.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:34 am

I really don't understand why people think Web Elements is a non starter. Everyone I've consulted about it (outside the DE/FF community) thinks its great.

They don't expect to be able to just take an existing app and publish it on the Web, and that is never going to happen, nor does the advertising for WE (can't speak for WebPub) suggest such a thing. WE has always been about publishing one or more individual documents.

It's a good architecture, we have had the architecture approved by several external consultants, and apart from its dependence on DCOM, we will be sticking with it. That review process has been on-going over the last year. There are also customers queueing up to use it, and only the difficulties over setup - largely caused by Microsoft - are really slowing things down. We have a large project using WE currently being programmed, and no doubt Ed will post up info about it in news when it is delivered.

There is a demo app we are working on here:

http://ffenics.net/WWW/APPS/CRM%20FrAPP/

if you want to prove it actually runs - be kind on the app, it is a work in progress, and in the process it has shown some of the issues with the product - a (MENU) button to go back to the main menu would be a good place to start!
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby webplusplus » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:44 am

Gil Fleming wrote:
Pete Tabord wrote: - as far as I can remember use of real name is not compulsory.


Pete, it's in the forum rules section,


No, it is not.

This is the rule:
Graham Smith wrote:Registration is required if you plan to post new topics or reply to existing topics. Registration is free, but we require you to use your real first and last name and email address.

It says nothing about display name. And, obviously, I provided Pete with my name/e-mail, otherwise he just wouldn't approve my registration, I think.

Gil Fleming wrote:as Fred had previously pointed out.


And this is that what Fred quoted:
Graham Smith wrote:All registrations must be approved by an administrator prior to being able to post. If you do not use your full first and last name as your displayed name, or if your email address is incorrect, we will not approve your registration.

It's just a statement. Warning. Explanation. It doesn't require anything. The newcomers just unable to violate it.


Gil Fleming wrote:I don't think I've seen another user using a nickname

search.php?author_id=492&sr=posts
search.php?author_id=525&sr=posts
search.php?author_id=7468&sr=posts

Take a look at member list, and you'll easily find more.



Gil Fleming wrote:it looks as if he has something to hide.

Anyone has something to hide. Naked truth postings led to many ugly holy wars on the old forum, and that's what I unsuccessfully tried to prevent this time.


Gil Fleming wrote:I mean, if we had a female user who went by the user name HottieBabeWhoLikesOlderMen,


;-)

Gil Fleming wrote:would we allow her into the forum?


Sorry to disappoint you, but it is a moderator who will make decision, not "we".

Gil Fleming wrote:
Hmmmm... I think I might have to use an alternative nickname to support my argument.


Let us know the results :-)
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:55 am

Adrian Jones wrote:
In fact, if you all want to help move FF along, consider a way in which we can put a proper testing structure into being - and I don't mean just running through your existing apps, but some sort of plan whereby _all_ the parts of the product actually get exercised. We can always consider some sort of quid-pro-quo in the way of extra discount or free support or such.


This is getting way off the original topic, and maybe should be a fresh thread?

But a proper testing and development could include:

1. A comprehensive, up-to-date, on-line SPR system to incorporate current state of historic problems and testing of new features. (suggestion: check out http://www.fogcreek.com/fogbugz/)
2. Proper documentation of things to be tested, and to include a set of things to test.
3. A common test app.
4. Perhaps actually test-driven coding (seems quite popular elsewhere in the industry...).
5. you don't have enough capacity for developing either Ff or WE, it seems. So have you considered throwing that development open to a 'closed' open group, at least to provide some code review.
6. As I tried to introduce, a timetable for testing, and an iterative development cycle so it's not 'pleast test everything now' but more like 'try these changes; we'll get on with other things, and look at your comments in due course'.
7. A proper, published spec for each change so the beta group can discuss the changes and be involved from an early stage.

I'd also say it's worth checking out some of the things that make up extreme programming. I used to find pair programming in DE at OCME with Naeem or Arul very useful, and I am now in the habit of keeping a developer diary, which I think could help in getting out test documents, etc.


As you say, probably should be a fresh thread.

Some of those things have been tried., some are unlikely to be.

From about 1993 to the demise of Database City we had an absolutely brilliant compete code management system, which covered from original change request/problem report right through to post-release verification.

I don't say we always used it wisely.

But such things, to do properly, require more warm bodies than doing the actual programming (Same could be said of documentation, to be honest). And the warm bodies have to understand what they are doing at that, both in their own specialist area and in the product area as well.

The system stopped being used largely because we no longer had the resources to update it for code changes in Ffenics. But there still is a system of specs, developer notes, change notices, so nothing gets in the product unexpectedly, and usually the change itself is tested - it is the wider issue of whether the change has affected anything else that is difficult for us to resource. Some sort of automated testing is really needed, but there are no satisfactory tools for Windows (unlike DOS) and in any case the resources necessary to set up such tests are quite large - in Trumbull we had three people doing nothing else (for DFD).

I've got round this since about version 1.51 simply be being very cautious, but we are putting some more substantial changes in 2.0 and they do need more comprehensive testing.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Gil Fleming » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:58 am

Pete Tabord wrote:I really don't understand why people think Web Elements is a non starter. Everyone I've consulted about it (outside the DE/FF community) thinks its great.


Pete, am I missing something here? Can web elements be used by folks using a different RDBMS ? If not, what is the value of their input? Everyone I've consulted at my Jujitsu club, my racquetball team and my local pub thinks web elements is flawed. Oh, and my Dad, but he's got Alzheimer's .
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:16 am

Yes, of course. It does it via Ffenics, of course. The project we are working on at the moment has a MySQL back end.

But we've also taken it to web specialist developers working with other tools and shown it to them for their feedback. Which has been positive, with the invariable caveat that a) it is out of date in using DCOM and b) there are more features needed, such as support for external style sheets and more actions.

Strangely, none of them thought field by field validation was important as long as the basics (number, text etc. ) were covered. Although I still think it would be a USP, especially if it could be somehow coupled with scripting - which latter I have to say wouldn't be easy, since scripting is mostly about interaction with Windows controls/features that don't exist in the same way on the Web.

I suppose my priorities are:

Support many more actions, including a few specific WE ones

Find a way of republishing without overwriting any custom mods the user has made

Support external style sheets (so any site wide style sheet is automatically respected)

Replacing DCOM needs consultation - I'm not sure what technology to replace it with, and I'd prefer something not MS-specific so the web pages could be hosted on a non-Windows server - but that would also require the product to be able to post requests to the WebHub code (which _must_ be on Windows) running in a different machine - it was designed to do that originally to allow for app servers to be set up separately from the web server (more efficient + more secure).

Unfortunately the knowledge has been lost as no proper setup documentation was created (or at any rate reached us in Wales) when WebPub was originally developed. I also don't know if a Linux server would be able to map a Windows share to a drive letter - I think it can but it needs checking - more research!
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby webplusplus » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:22 am

Gil Fleming wrote:
Pete Tabord wrote:I really don't understand why people think Web Elements is a non starter. Everyone I've consulted about it (outside the DE/FF community) thinks its great.


Pete, am I missing something here?


Community and user base aren't the same thing.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Gil Fleming » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:54 am

You'd be no good as a sniper, webthing, you consistently miss the point. ](*,)
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby webplusplus » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi Pete,

first, thanks a lot for moderating the flame in this topic.

Pete Tabord wrote:I really don't understand why people think Web Elements is a non starter.


Isn't this
Pete Tabord wrote: the difficulties over setup - largely caused by Microsoft - are really slowing things down.

an answer?

I already mentioned IIS Express - do consider using it. As far as I understand, its licence allows you to distribute its installer as a part of your installation package, so it may be possible to not touch WE code itself and just modify WE installation script to make customers (and, probably, your own) life less painful. Also, it can run on less expensive workstation versions of Windows.
There can be some issues with TCP ports assignment, but fortunately MS introduced HTTP Server API in XP and up, so these days it is really easy to sort out them. I used HTTP Srv API for more than one project, so can provide you with sample code and/or advise, if you are busy with current projects and have no time to looking for some little piece of useful information in MSDN which seems to be a huge heap of trash now.


WBW,
Pavel.

P.S.

Pete Tabord wrote:There is a demo app we are working on here:

http://ffenics.net/WWW/APPS/CRM%20FrAPP/


It may be good if you disable directory browsing for ffenics.net site ;-)
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby webplusplus » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:03 pm

Pete Tabord wrote:Replacing DCOM needs consultation - I'm not sure what technology to replace it with, and I'd prefer something not MS-specific so the web pages could be hosted on a non-Windows server - but that would also require the product to be able to post requests to the WebHub code (which _must_ be on Windows) running in a different machine - it was designed to do that originally to allow for app servers to be set up separately from the web server (more efficient + more secure).


Another situation where HTTP Srv API can help you. You can replace DCOM interface with something webervice-like in a relatively little time with minimal changes in existing code. And the you'll be able to decide what parts of the code should be made platform-independed and what could be bound to Windows.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby webplusplus » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:08 pm

Gil Fleming wrote: ](*,)


Your userpic is really nice ;-)
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:11 pm

It may be good if you disable directory browsing for ffenics.net site ;-)


Its all right, its just a standalone machine for playing on.


Another situation where HTTP Srv API can help you.


Do you mean the use of DNS SRV records to define the location of an API that can be called from HTTP? (If I've got that right!)
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Pete Tabord » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:28 am

Pete Tabord wrote:
There is a demo app we are working on here:

http://ffenics.net/WWW/APPS/CRM%20FrAPP/

if you want to prove it actually runs - be kind on the app, it is a work in progress, and in the process it has shown some of the issues with the product - a (MENU) button to go back to the main menu would be a good place to start!


If you didn't go and look at it you've (temporarily) missed your chance - we're testing other stuff on there at the moment.
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Re: Webelements - a suggestion

Postby Graham Smith » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:24 pm

Pete Tabord wrote:I really don't understand why people think Web Elements is a non starter. Everyone I've consulted about it (outside the DE/FF community) thinks its great.

Perhaps for what it does, I'm being overly critical. BUT...

As I said before, the people I have discussed this with are DataEase/Ffenics users who want to put some forms on the web. They are interested in WebElements because they believe it to be a companion product to Ff and the expect it to be able to do many of the same things.

Once they find out that it can't then they quickly lose interest in favor of some established web development firm who can do the who package for them using more conventional methods.
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