Forum OpenACS Development: Re: Announcing Project/Open

Posted by Jade Rubick on
Hi Frank,

I do wish we had been in touch earlier. Our companies went through very parallel paths.

Our company also started out on ACS 3.4.10, and we were especially interested in the Intranet module, and in tickets. I spent the last three years building and improving upon that platform. Some of that work is proprietary, but a lot of it isn't. However, after Arsdigita dropped ACS 3 support, and offered no upgrade path (which still pisses me off), I made the plan of eventually migrating to OpenACS.

However, nobody ever built anything equivalent to the Intranet module on OpenACS. Only recently has there been any interest in doing so.

Have you seen this link?

The only thing that is really being actively worked on right now is the project manager, as far as I know.

I'm very interested in Project Open, but it's hard to really get an idea of what it is based on the web site. There aren't any screen shots or demos or anything.

I should warn you that the migration to OpenACS is not easy. The payoff is definitely worth it -- probably the Oracle license fees by themselves may pay your salary. However, it will take a significant amount of time, probably months, depending on how many developers you have. Part of the problem is that equivalent applications sometimes just don't exists on the OpenACS end of things, and when they do, sometimes their data model isn't very similar. We're about 75% done with the migration effort, but it's painful, tedious work. The only upside is that it's fun to learn OpenACS, because it's a very slick improvement on ACS, for the most part.

We chose to develop a new project-manager application, and port our current Intranet (which is still on ACS 3.4.10) to project-manager. We also did the Oracle to Postgres conversion at the same time. 😊

I'd be interested in talking with you about plans for porting, and perhaps we can share ideas on how to do it. Our scheme is somewhat hackish, but was easy to implement, and I believe will work for our needs. It isn't really something I would have done if I had known that many other people would be doing the same thing, however. Isn't that always the way...? I'm happy to share my upgrade scripts, however. It would save you a great deal of time, probably.

I'd also be interested in talking about merging our efforts. Rather than have two project-manager programs for OpenACS, I'd be much happier to join our efforts together.

Are you on IRC? You might consider joining us there sometime.

I consider the conflict between open source and proprietary software to be pretty clear cut, in our case. Anything we've built that is clearly just for internal use, we keep internal. Anything that could be shared, we do. For example, we could have developed the project-manager as an internal product, but we'd lost all the benefits of open-source development.

I wrote a permissions system for our Intranet too. The OpenACS permissions system is far superior -- I'd recommend using it.

When you ask about it being integrated or not -- it's not a part of the OpenACS core, but it's an application being built on top of it. The dotWRK project will just be a configuration of OpenACS with a set of default packages. See the thread on project-management under the project management link, above.