Thanks as always AJ.  Great work.
My comments:
 
1a. We would HAVE to have automated login enabled so that the user only enters the ticket number - is this correct?
...I guess overall this architecture would be simpler.
 
1b. I'm concerned about this one. Often I have a situation where the (unix-ignorant) personnel only powers the server on/off - no logging in to start up direqcafe, in fact no other interaction with the server whatsoever. In those situations usually the tickets are pre-printed and the personnel simply hands them out. Having to have the console running all the time makes me uneasy...unless that now has to go into a rc file...
It is definitely a nicer architecture, but the concern remains.
 
1c. Having the choice of RDBMS would be nice. Using mysql (and updating the manual to describe the data structures ;-> ) would probably make some very nice reporting and scripting easier.
A backend RDBMS does introduce a new dependency but I expect that most of your users have at one time or another installed or configured such, and that most linux hardware can handle that. I could be wrong though...perhaps there should be a third lower-performance choice of flatfiles/DBM/the status quo.
 
2. Sounds good.
 
My suggestions - a command line interface for ticket generation, report printing etc would be great. However the suggested use of an RDBMS would also create a platform for customer-generated scripts.

 
On 5/26/05, akinimod-direqcafe-request@lists.sourceforge.net < akinimod-direqcafe-request@lists.sourceforge.net> wrote:
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Today's Topics:

  1. direqcafe 4.0 design (A.J. Venter)
  2. Re: direqcafe 4.0 design (Dean Mumby)

--__--__--

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:31:11 +0200
From: "A.J. Venter" < ajventer@gmail.com>
To: akinimod-direqcafe@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [direqcafe] direqcafe 4.0 design
Reply-To: akinimod-direqcafe@lists.sourceforge.net

Hi all,
I will soon begin working on the next iteration of direqcafe (the 4.0
tree), which I hope will be as big a structural enhancement over 3.0
as 3.0 was over 2 and 1.

I have begun doing a series of designs in my head for it, and I would
like to propose these to you, my users, now for comment and also to
ask that you suggest any other changes you would like.

1) Structural enhancements
-I wish to remove the unix-user dependancy, a single icafe user
account should be used instead, direqcafe will then prompt for a
ticket number BEFORE loading the desktop requested by the
administrator. This has many advantages - firstly there is no security
risk as inherrent in REAL passwordless accounts, you can simply
instruct your display manager to do an automated login instead, there
is no issues with file access to the password file, no issues with
user permissions on database files etc. It's a simplification for the
sake of enhancement.
-I want to change direqcafe into a single program, the difference
between the counter and the control panel will be determined by the
running user. I also wish to use this to eliminate the cron
dependancy, thanks to multithreadingdireqcafe can be it's own
countdown system. The only catch is that this will mean the control
panel needs to be at least open at all times.
More and more systems are moving to the unified application / multiple
interface approach (OpenOffice.org for example).
-I believe direqcafe will need a proper RDMS backend in the future,
both for the purposes of integration with other programs and also for
stability, currently potential database corruptions make up the vast
majority of support issues I receive and I wish to elliminate this. I
personally am a fan of mysql and believe it ideal for this task
however it does introduce a new dependancy. Another option might be
sqlite - since only one part of the system does WRITING - it doesn't
matter that sqlite isn't multi-write safe, but sqlite only requires a
library not a daemon. Ideally I think either option should be allowed
with the administrator choosing his favorite at installtime. Since
direqcafe can ALREADY export the transaction log as SQL it makes for a
simple clean upgrade to those who have account information in the
current version.

2)Interface enhancements
-Number one priority will be to change direqcafe to gtk2 which lazarus
now supports in beta, as lazarus's support improves direqcafe can grow
with it - more importantly it allows much better handling of things
like foreign language fonts and integrates much better in modern
desktops.
-I believe the control panel interface can be greatly modernized. The
current version while functional and easy, looks like a windows 95
program and it can be matured by inspiration from other software. I
believe the correct look is single multi-tabbed window, so you would
have a tab for the user monitor, a tab for the transaction log, a tab
for ticket generation and sales, a tab for settings etc, each tab
containing the right items to do it's job with.

I await everyone's feedback, comments and suggestions with great
eagerness. This is all still design level work, I haven't even begun
coding yet so 4.0 may well be a few months down the line still, but I
would really like a good solid design with real, practical
user-requisite changes before I start.

Ciao
A.J.


"Semper in excretum set alta variant" - My father
A.J. Venter - http://www.silentcoder.co.za


--__--__--

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 12:01:38 +0200
From: Dean Mumby < dean@mumby.co.za>
To: akinimod-direqcafe@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [direqcafe] direqcafe 4.0 design
Reply-To: akinimod-direqcafe@lists.sourceforge.net

A.J. Venter wrote:

>Hi all,
>I will soon begin working on the next iteration of direqcafe (the 4.0
>tree), which I hope will be as big a structural enhancement over 3.0
>as 3.0 was over 2 and 1.
>
>I have begun doing a series of designs in my head for it, and I would
>like to propose these to you, my users, now for comment and also to
>ask that you suggest any other changes you would like.
>
>1) Structural enhancements
>-I wish to remove the unix-user dependancy, a single icafe user
>account should be used instead, direqcafe will then prompt for a
>ticket number BEFORE loading the desktop requested by the
>administrator. This has many advantages - firstly there is no security
>risk as inherrent in REAL passwordless accounts, you can simply
>instruct your display manager to do an automated login instead, there
>is no issues with file access to the password file, no issues with
>user permissions on database files etc. It's a simplification for the
>sake of enhancement.
>-I want to change direqcafe into a single program, the difference
>between the counter and the control panel will be determined by the
>running user. I also wish to use this to eliminate the cron
>dependancy, thanks to multithreadingdireqcafe can be it's own
>countdown system. The only catch is that this will mean the control
>panel needs to be at least open at all times.
>More and more systems are moving to the unified application / multiple
>interface approach (OpenOffice.org for example).
>-I believe direqcafe will need a proper RDMS backend in the future,
>both for the purposes of integration with other programs and also for
>stability, currently potential database corruptions make up the vast
>majority of support issues I receive and I wish to elliminate this. I
>personally am a fan of mysql and believe it ideal for this task
>however it does introduce a new dependancy. Another option might be
>sqlite - since only one part of the system does WRITING - it doesn't
>matter that sqlite isn't multi-write safe, but sqlite only requires a
>library not a daemon. Ideally I think either option should be allowed
>with the administrator choosing his favorite at installtime. Since
>direqcafe can ALREADY export the transaction log as SQL it makes for a
>simple clean upgrade to those who have account information in the
>current version.
>
>2)Interface enhancements
>-Number one priority will be to change direqcafe to gtk2 which lazarus
>now supports in beta, as lazarus's support improves direqcafe can grow
>with it - more importantly it allows much better handling of things
>like foreign language fonts and integrates much better in modern
>desktops.
>-I believe the control panel interface can be greatly modernized. The
>current version while functional and easy, looks like a windows 95
>program and it can be matured by inspiration from other software. I
>believe the correct look is single multi-tabbed window, so you would
>have a tab for the user monitor, a tab for the transaction log, a tab
>for ticket generation and sales, a tab for settings etc, each tab
>containing the right items to do it's job with.
>
>I await everyone's feedback, comments and suggestions with great
>eagerness. This is all still design level work, I haven't even begun
>coding yet so 4.0 may well be a few months down the line still, but I
>would really like a good solid design with real, practical
>user-requisite changes before I start.
>
>Ciao
>A.J.
>
>
>"Semper in excretum set alta variant" - My father
>A.J. Venter - http://www.silentcoder.co.za
>
>
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>
This sounds great , I would imagine mysql would be the favoured rdbms as
most pther apps out there use it so you would find most people are
already running it for some purpose.

I look forward to the first release.

Dean



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