Forum OpenACS Development: Status and more ...

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Posted by Don Baccus on
Ben's hacked the new file storage system so we can all add documents
to the various folders he set up.  I re-added my change to only view
the last version of a file by default.  Ben also modified permissions
so they're file, not version based - you'll no longer run into new
versions being defaulted to "invisible".
I've uploaded new versions of
<li>The query extractor (it works very nicely now, thanks to some
additional work by SteveW)
<li>Status report (no Critical Path items blocking general porting!)
<li>Volunteers (updated a few days ago)
In addition I e-mailed volunteers privately asking for more
information as to how much they can help and when, as well as package
preferences.  I've only gotten about 5-6 responses so far so ...
PLEASE, if you're serious about helping get back to me.
Posted by Gilbert Wong on

Sorry for the delayed response.  I have an immediate need for an ecommerce system so I'd like to pick up that module if it's not being worked on yet.  Are we planning to use the commerce module that Arsdigita started or do we start from the ecommerce module in ACS 3.x?

I am looking into creating plug-ins for and PayPal.

Anyway, since I've been working on ACS 3.x, are there any good docs on how to program for ACS 4.x and in particular for OpenACS 4.x?


Posted by Don Baccus on
Furfly sponsored a port of ecommerce 3.x to the 4.x environment by ex-aD'er Walter McGinnis recently.

It's in our tree already and that will be our starting point, as the aD work wasn't even close to completion when the ax fell on the Tcl version.  Also the existing OpenACS 3.x ecommerce port should be a useful reference for PL/SQL->PL/pgSQL porting, many or most functions can probably be used directly.

Civilution (ErikR and co-workers) are going to work on porting it, and Walter McGinnis is available to help with questions/issues regarding his earlier port effort (Walter's going to port the photo album stuff).

Ecommerce is a big package - why not e-mail Erik and see if they think  they could use help in a productive way?  They'll have two or three people working part-time on it so splitting it up further might not be  practical, but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?

The plugins for alternatives to cybercash for settlment are interesting, I don't believe they're planning to do anything other than cybercash, so that's certainly an area where you could pitch in (mention it to them).  Walter did pretty much a straight-across port so abstracting out the settlement process so we can plug various types in would be good.  The fourth method folks with  smaller businesses have expressed interest in is PGP-encoded e-mailing of orders for hand verification by the shipping organization.  Folks who do low-volume mail-order are already used to doing stuff this way.

Posted by Gilbert Wong on

Thanks Don. I've been testing the ACS 3.x to ACS 4 port that Furfly sponsored. It looks good.

Anyway, is this list up to date?

This list makes it hard to see which packages have owners and which packages don't. I'll take the Simple Survey since it looks like no one else has claimed it. I'll also sign up to do plug-ins for payment gateways other than Cybercash ( and PayPal). That should keep me busy for a while :)

Posted by Dave Bauer on
Unless there is a seriously good reason not to, I am going to start trying to work on the CMS this week.
Posted by Walter McGinnis on

I would like to point out that Jerry Asher did the initial (and probably the majority of) work on's port of the ecommerce to ACS 4.

Thanks Jerry.

Posted by Roger Williams on
Hello Don:

I see how much you look at this forum, so I will just put my OpenACS goals here.

1. I have Oracle. I would rather use Oracle (I know, it sounds stupid!). I have installed and used 8.1.6 lots of times and I am pretty familiar with it. I have not tried 8.1.7 yet, but I do want to try it out soon. I could start by installing the core of OA 4.x.

2. I do not know a specific number of hours per week yet. I am pretty busy all of the time with my job, a volunteer center where I am helping them with ACS and my other interests. But I am pretty technical, and working on this has synergy with my other tasks.

3. After the 3rd week of May, it could be 10 hours (with some overlap with other ACS-related effort). If we made a schedule, even a tentative one, I could more easily specify which components/dates I would try to make. From looking at the component list, I am interested in faq, portal and one of the ticket-tracker items (probably lite). Of course, being interested and signing up for a date are two different things. At the end of next week, I will try to install OA and Oracle to get started.

4. I have installed, used and done cursory customization of ACS3Tcl and ACS4Tcl. I have not run any of these in a big site yet. Also, I have never written an ACS package of my own, or made changes to its internal architecture (although I do not consider any of that beyond my skill/background).


Posted by Don Baccus on
Why not get back to me when your time frees up, and we'll see where we  are.  So far, no one's asked for portals though someone has asked for the FAQ module (I just updated the status sheet earlier today).

There's no problem with being primarily interested in Oracle, we genuinely intend to support both RDBMS's.  As it turns out, the vast majority of  volunteers have Oracle installed even though they are interested in helping with a Postgres port.

You could help us with Oracle testing as you have time (until later in the month, when your time frees up).  In other words, making sure that  the Oracle version still installs and runs correctly (it doesn't at the moment, Ben has some work to do on the Oracle db api to make it work with queryfiles, but we should be back up by the end of the week).