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Showing posts from March, 2007

dotproject.net

Having just installed dotproject.net, a free & open source project management package and just getting into the routine of using it, a few experiences are documented here.

General Experience

Has been very good. The tool is quite mature and the authors have obviously done a lot of thinking on all the features implemented. This tool can actually be worth the benefit of a huge investment in an enterprise-wide PM solution, even without customization. Before installation, I read some testimonials that several SME's are using it for managing upto 60 different projects simultaneously with hundreds of users. Having installed and used if for a couple of days, I can now see why.

In spite of being undoubtedly a very useful enterprise/SME quality tool, there are several improvements that could make the package even more attractive to users. A few of those "like-to-have", and a few "must-have" features are documented below:

When can we have some AJAX?

Tickets on the Fro…

Craving for Google CRM

Having used XRMS, an Open Source CRM package, for my simple CRM needs, I'm craving to take my CRM experience to the next level. Google delivered a slam-dunk with Apps with the collaboration features in word-processor and spread-sheet software, which was the main attraction to switch.

Right now, I'm (wide)-open minded to try anything from the Google House of Super Cool Web Apps. CRM (along with Project Management software) is next on the list. But what value addition could Google provide on top of simple-minded Open Source packages like XRMS, or the more sophisticated spins like salesforce.com? Some insightful analysis at http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/47501.html

Deleting Items from Perl Array

It's straightforward to delete items from Perl associative arrays (hashes), by using $ary_name->delete()

For normal arrays there is no such syntax, but the grep() function comes to rescue sometimes.

my $search_str = 'whatever';
my @new_ary = grep(!/$search_str/, @old_ary);

The above will return a @new_ary which is devoid of all instances of $search_str (effectively deleting them).

Here's the reference - http://perl.about.com/od/perltutorials/qt/perlgrep.htm

mod_perl issues w. HTML::Template in AJAX calls

Having run my Perl/CGI/Apache2 app in CGI mode for a while, I upgraded a development version to mod_perl.

We did notice a remarkable increase in speed with mod_perl, but HTML::Templates got cached and were not getting refreshed with new data. I'm only trying to read manipulate some data on the session and post it in a HTML::Template based table based on an Ajax event. The output HTML is from some previous cache, which is not even consistent between different clicks.

Worse yet, I am not able to clear CGI::Session variables (using $session->clear()).

I'm almost sure there is a correct way of setting up mod_perl to work correctly w. HTML::Templates. If anyone has a good prescription, a reply-post would be appreciated.

The only line of config in my VirtualHost section for getting mod_perl to work was:
PerlResponseHandler ModPerl::RegistryCommenting this switched the app back to CGI

SellerBay is Going OpenSource!

For about 15-18 past months, I have been working on developing SellerBay(TM), a web-based, Perl-driven software package that's useful for small and medium sized online retailers to sell efficiently online. We've been selling a lot at www.confero24.com and SellerBay has been immensely useful for the purpose.

I finally made the decision to contribute SellerBay to the OS community. My goal is partly a gesture of gratitude for all the good things OS has brought to me and partly to attempt building a user community around it which will improve the tool. I do feel that I am hitting my limits on architecture and software-engineering issues, so any ideas/work from anyone in the community could only help!

There are still a number of functions beyond concept-stage, so I will surely be writing new code and posting updates at http://sourceforge.net/projects/sellerbay/. All code is on SVN. Website, community forum, demo site are all yet to come.

I Love GHS

GHS - Google Hosted Services, has made it a 1 hour affair to setup an SME's IT systems - including email, team collaboration site, online document server and office applications for word-processing and spread-sheets. I haven't been so impressed with software tools in a long time!

You can get the full feature list and the marketing pitch from http://apps.google.com. But just to quickly recap the features:
Google's cutting edge email client used for gmail.com is now available for your company email at a web-address like http://mail.mycompany.comWeb-based, globally accessible calendar tool available at http://calendar.mycompany.comCollaboration word-processing and spread-sheet documents at http://docs.mycompany.com2GB of space is available for free per user, and 10GB for $50 per annum.

Micro$oft has apparently been making similar offers.

And the trend is clear!

I predict lots of SME's will start to migrate from desktop based MS-Office docs which have to be hauled up and down…