Choosing an office suite

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Hilary Bailey, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. I am trying to decide which office suite to choose from. The only
    exposure I have had is Microsoft's, but now I have the choice between
    OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. I have had lengthy discussions with
    great individuals from the community regarding writing an education
    software having a database component as its main focus. Briefly, as a
    novice to programming (despite having read a book on Ruby, which
    offered the "sky", but ended-up confusing reality to that of
    programmer's
    dream), I have decided, based on various discussions with the community,
    to familiarize myself with: a) HTTP, b) CSS, c) vim, d)already created
    office suites by the community,and then e) Rails or JRails - as a way of
    deploying such software.

    I know that there are many surprises and my writing shows an innocence,
    which will eventually receive a "reality check". But in the meantime,
    based on my line of thinking, can anyone advice me on 1) the difference
    between the suites mentioned above and 2) my plan of action in deploying
    such product.

    Thank you Open Source community for your past and continued help.

    Hilary

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Hilary Bailey, Feb 7, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 2:15 AM, Hilary Bailey <> wrote:
    > ...., I have decided, based on various discussions with the community,
    > to familiarize myself with: a) HTTP, b) CSS, c) vim, d)already created
    > office suites by the community,and then e) Rails or JRails - as a way of
    > deploying such software.


    Perhaps you can explain what you intend to do with this "office suite"?
    It certainly has no relationship whatsoever to deploying a Rails app.

    --
    Hassan Schroeder ------------------------
    twitter: @hassan
     
    Hassan Schroeder, Feb 7, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Hi Hilary

    If you are starting from square one, I would honestly recommend you look
    at Mendix (see http://www.mendix.com/ ).

    You don't need to code anything. You draw 'models'. Draw your database
    as an entity-relationship diagram and you have a working database
    (choose Oracle, MySQl etc) with professional CSS update etc screens -
    much more advanced than Rails. Drag and drop your controls. Your
    micro-logic you do with graphics.

    It's free to develop but then you would incur costs to deploy - but
    against that you don't have to cross the even bigger divide ie setting
    up and configuring your infrastructure. You just get them to host it
    probably at the press of a button. I don't know what the cost per
    transaction would be. I'll try and get an idea from a contact I have in
    the UK, if you're at all interested.

    Office packages are wonderfully powerful but complex in their own way
    and not easy to deploy as web apps.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Mike Stephens, Feb 7, 2011
    #3
  4. On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Hilary Bailey <> wrote:
    >
    > I know that there are many surprises and my writing shows an innocence,
    > which will eventually receive a "reality check". But in the meantime,
    > based on my line of thinking, can anyone advice me on 1) the difference
    > between the suites mentioned above and 2) my plan of action in deploying
    > such product.


    There is, for now, little difference between OpenOffice and
    LibreOffice, seeing as LibreOffice forked only recently off of
    Oracle's code base.

    Considering, however, that pretty much all of the former OpenOffice
    developers went over to LibreOffice, I'd stick with that. Especially
    since Oracle hasn't shown so far to be trustworthy (3 OSS projects
    have "split" from Oracle already: MySQL -> MariaDB, Hudson CI ->
    Jenkins CI, OpenOffice -> LibreOffice; and Oracle isn't one to honor
    promises, either made by their acquisitions (OpenSolaris isn't Free
    anymore), nor promises they made themselves (see the Java Community
    Process hubub)).

    2) You can't really use Rails to deploy software to a client. It would
    be possible, but it'd require providing some sort of client software,
    and at that point you can use something simpler than use a web
    framework (like password protected directories accessed via a GUI that
    enables easy installation; similar to MS's Web Platform Installer, or
    Ubuntu's Aptitude).


    The question is: What is it you want to achieve?

    --
    Phillip Gawlowski

    Though the folk I have met,
    (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    When I've moved on to some other place,
    There may be one or two,
    When I've played and passed through,
    Who'll remember my song or my face.
     
    Phillip Gawlowski, Feb 7, 2011
    #4
  5. Phillip Gawlowski wrote in post #980112:
    > On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Hilary Bailey <>
    > wrote:
    >>
    >> I know that there are many surprises and my writing shows an innocence,
    >> which will eventually receive a "reality check". But in the meantime,
    >> based on my line of thinking, can anyone advice me on 1) the difference
    >> between the suites mentioned above and 2) my plan of action in deploying
    >> such product.

    >
    > There is, for now, little difference between OpenOffice and
    > LibreOffice, seeing as LibreOffice forked only recently off of
    > Oracle's code base.
    >
    > Considering, however, that pretty much all of the former OpenOffice
    > developers went over to LibreOffice, I'd stick with that. Especially
    > since Oracle hasn't shown so far to be trustworthy (3 OSS projects
    > have "split" from Oracle already: MySQL -> MariaDB, Hudson CI ->
    > Jenkins CI, OpenOffice -> LibreOffice; and Oracle isn't one to honor
    > promises, either made by their acquisitions (OpenSolaris isn't Free
    > anymore), nor promises they made themselves (see the Java Community
    > Process hubub)).
    >
    > 2) You can't really use Rails to deploy software to a client. It would
    > be possible, but it'd require providing some sort of client software,
    > and at that point you can use something simpler than use a web
    > framework (like password protected directories accessed via a GUI that
    > enables easy installation; similar to MS's Web Platform Installer, or
    > Ubuntu's Aptitude).
    >
    >
    > The question is: What is it you want to achieve?
    >
    > --
    > Phillip Gawlowski
    >
    > Though the folk I have met,
    > (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    > When I've moved on to some other place,
    > There may be one or two,
    > When I've played and passed through,
    > Who'll remember my song or my face.


    Hi Phillip,
    What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    all entities in a school district. The closest software that exhibits
    some semblance is that of Microsoft Access. Where, as I understand it,
    the input entry of a single data can be housed and then derived, through
    a set of queries, then further analyzed through/by Microsoft Solver
    software.

    The difference with my proposal would be that based on selected
    indicators [which will be dynamically influenced by changed event(s) and
    policy(ies], which would be able to measure success. I have been exposed
    to a statistical software named SPSS and having worked as an economist,
    has influenced my outlook on creating an approach/database/software
    which would indicate in real time, measured results.

    As you can tell, there is an element of nervousness regarding saying
    too much. But on the other hand, if not much is said, not much help can
    be given. So it's a "catch 24", where since the last 20 years I have
    been improving on a systems that would be able to measure defined
    academic output, vis-a-vis, financial constraints etc..

    Mike Stephens recommended Mendix as a possible solution to my woes. Do
    you know of such arena?

    Therefore, I figured that, doing it all by myself may be the best
    solution. However, some of my concerns are: "Why reinvent the wheel?',
    How can I create a sustainable system that does not compromise quality?,
    What curriculum structure should I follow that will meet my needs
    without, straying from my goals?

    Therefore, this is my dilemma, which seems to be going in circles. Any
    suggestions.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Hilary Bailey, Feb 8, 2011
    #5
  6. [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    2011/2/7 Hilary Bailey <>

    > Phillip Gawlowski wrote in post #980112:
    > > On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Hilary Bailey <>
    > > wrote:
    > >>
    > >> I know that there are many surprises and my writing shows an innocence,
    > >> which will eventually receive a "reality check". But in the meantime,
    > >> based on my line of thinking, can anyone advice me on 1) the difference
    > >> between the suites mentioned above and 2) my plan of action in deploying
    > >> such product.

    > >
    > > There is, for now, little difference between OpenOffice and
    > > LibreOffice, seeing as LibreOffice forked only recently off of
    > > Oracle's code base.
    > >
    > > Considering, however, that pretty much all of the former OpenOffice
    > > developers went over to LibreOffice, I'd stick with that. Especially
    > > since Oracle hasn't shown so far to be trustworthy (3 OSS projects
    > > have "split" from Oracle already: MySQL -> MariaDB, Hudson CI ->
    > > Jenkins CI, OpenOffice -> LibreOffice; and Oracle isn't one to honor
    > > promises, either made by their acquisitions (OpenSolaris isn't Free
    > > anymore), nor promises they made themselves (see the Java Community
    > > Process hubub)).
    > >
    > > 2) You can't really use Rails to deploy software to a client. It would
    > > be possible, but it'd require providing some sort of client software,
    > > and at that point you can use something simpler than use a web
    > > framework (like password protected directories accessed via a GUI that
    > > enables easy installation; similar to MS's Web Platform Installer, or
    > > Ubuntu's Aptitude).
    > >
    > >
    > > The question is: What is it you want to achieve?
    > >
    > > --
    > > Phillip Gawlowski
    > >
    > > Though the folk I have met,
    > > (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    > > When I've moved on to some other place,
    > > There may be one or two,
    > > When I've played and passed through,
    > > Who'll remember my song or my face.

    >
    > Hi Phillip,
    > What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    > all entities in a school district. The closest software that exhibits
    > some semblance is that of Microsoft Access. Where, as I understand it,
    > the input entry of a single data can be housed and then derived, through
    > a set of queries, then further analyzed through/by Microsoft Solver
    > software.
    >
    > The difference with my proposal would be that based on selected
    > indicators [which will be dynamically influenced by changed event(s) and
    > policy(ies], which would be able to measure success. I have been exposed
    > to a statistical software named SPSS



    Hi Hilary:
    Semi-off topic but.... Exists PSPP (free, libre) for users of proprietary
    program SPSS

    Take a look:

    http://www.gnu.org/software/pspp/


    and having worked as an economist,
    > has influenced my outlook on creating an approach/database/software
    > which would indicate in real time, measured results.
    >


    As you can tell, there is an element of nervousness regarding saying
    > too much. But on the other hand, if not much is said, not much help can
    > be given. So it's a "catch 24", where since the last 20 years I have
    > been improving on a systems that would be able to measure defined
    > academic output, vis-a-vis, financial constraints etc..
    >
    > Mike Stephens recommended Mendix as a possible solution to my woes. Do
    > you know of such arena?
    >
    > Therefore, I figured that, doing it all by myself may be the best
    > solution. However, some of my concerns are: "Why reinvent the wheel?',
    > How can I create a sustainable system that does not compromise quality?,
    > What curriculum structure should I follow that will meet my needs
    > without, straying from my goals?
    >
    > Therefore, this is my dilemma, which seems to be going in circles. Any
    > suggestions.
    >
    > --
    > Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
    >
    >



    --
    ==============================
    SEBASTIAN ROTTA SELETTI

    MSN:
    ==============================
     
    Sebastián Rotta Seletti, Feb 8, 2011
    #6
  7. On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 2:55 AM, Hilary Bailey <> wro=
    te:
    >
    > Hi Phillip,
    > What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    > all entities in a school district. The closest software that exhibits
    > some semblance is that of Microsoft Access. Where, as I understand it,
    > the input entry of a single data can be housed and then derived, through
    > a set of queries, then further analyzed =A0through/by Microsoft Solver
    > software.


    That's a feature all relational databases share: You store data, query
    the data, and do something with the results.

    However, you don't *need* Access (which is an expensive toy to deploy
    software on for a school) for that, but a plain' ol' database.

    Investigate SQLite (excellent for "embedded" databases, since it's
    light-weight and can be used from pretty much every programming
    language, and is Public Domain) if you want to write software that
    ends up on a PC, or whatever is popular on the web: MySQL/MariaDB or
    PostgreSQL.

    > The difference with my proposal would be that based on selected
    > indicators [which will be dynamically influenced by changed event(s) and
    > policy(ies], which would be able to measure success. I have been exposed
    > to a statistical software named SPSS and having worked as an economist,
    > has influenced my outlook on creating an approach/database/software
    > which would indicate in real time, measured results.


    Sounds like a standard use-case for OLAP:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_analytical_processing

    > Mike Stephens recommended Mendix as a possible solution to my woes. Do
    > you know of such arena?


    I don't trust tools that claim to write software for you. ;)

    Mind, a visual tool can be very helpful (I like to easily visualize
    SQL databases and their key relations, for example), but I'm quite
    sure that Mendix itself won't help you in your case: There's no
    business process per se in what you want to roll out, and all those
    "UML to Software" tools have fallen flat, requiring manual
    "optimization".

    > Therefore, I figured that, doing it all by myself may be the best
    > solution. =A0However, some of my concerns are: "Why reinvent the wheel?',
    > How can I create a sustainable system that does not compromise quality?,
    > What curriculum structure should I follow that will meet my needs
    > without, straying from my goals?
    >
    > Therefore, this is my dilemma, which seems to be going in circles. Any
    > suggestions.


    Yes. Incorporate a business before too long, and start looking for a
    technical co-founder now. What you want to do isn't impossible for a
    single person. Said person needs a bit of experience in a lot of
    technologies. While you can grab database engines, libraries, etc. off
    the shelf, you have to check licensing (Anything GPL licensed will
    *force* you to publish your own source code, for example, while the
    LGPL doesn't have this problem), learn and deal with a lot of
    technologies (databases, client / server computing or web programming,
    OLAP, reporting, data entry), which is... well, just a tad much to get
    started with a business of any sort.

    And you have a good litmus test for a technical person: Can they and
    do they want to teach you to code. :)

    Mind, you should find a technical person you can, push comes to shove,
    bind with an NDA either way, simply to buy expertise in rather tough
    areas that you shouldn't deal with as a beginner, like application
    security (doubly so if you want to launch a website!).

    --=20
    Phillip Gawlowski

    Though the folk I have met,
    (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    When I've moved on to some other place,
    There may be one or two,
    When I've played and passed through,
    Who'll remember my song or my face.
     
    Phillip Gawlowski, Feb 8, 2011
    #7
  8. Hilary Bailey

    Stu Guest

    I would choose LibreOffice due to recent events since sun's buyout.

    As it's been mentioned an office suite is not really the correct tool
    for creating a ruby on rails site.

    Here is a short list of tool/software to look into:

    1) Ubuntu Linux (the laymans linux)
    2) rvm Ruby Version Manager
    3) vim (my preferred text editor)
    4) shell terminal ( once again preference. I like zsh but ubuntu defaults bash)
    5) browser (firefox, opera, chrome... take one or use them all)
    6) database (sqlite3 for development, postgres for deployment ...
    mysql falls into the same area of sun/oracle debacle but it's still a
    choice)
    7) installing ruby on rails gem

    If you need help getting something like this going I would be more
    than happy to walk you through the steps to getting the proper
    environment for you to experiment and learn on.

    Also look in your neighborhood for ruby sigs and meetings. Definitely
    the place to network with others and have someone show you directly.

    As others have mentioned avoid tools that lock you in, don't run on
    everything, are closed and/or attempt to charge you to learn/use.

    On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 4:15 AM, Hilary Bailey <> wrote:
    > I am trying to decide which office suite to choose from. The only
    > exposure I have had is Microsoft's, but now I have the choice between
    > OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. I have had lengthy discussions with
    > great individuals from the community regarding writing an education
    > software having a database component as its main focus. Briefly, as a
    > novice to programming (despite having read a book on Ruby, which
    > offered the "sky", but ended-up confusing reality to that of
    > programmer's
    > dream), I have decided, based on various discussions with the community,
    > to familiarize myself with: a) HTTP, b) CSS, c) vim, d)already created
    > office suites by the community,and then e) Rails or JRails - as a way of
    > deploying such software.
    >
    > I know that there are many surprises and my writing shows an innocence,
    > which will eventually receive a "reality check". But in the meantime,
    > based on my line of thinking, can anyone advice me on 1) the difference
    > between the suites mentioned above and 2) my plan of action in deploying
    > such product.
    >
    > Thank you Open Source community for your past and continued help.
    >
    > Hilary
    >
    > --
    > Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
    >
    >
     
    Stu, Feb 8, 2011
    #8
  9. Hilary Bailey wrote in post #980168:
    > What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    > all entities in a school district.


    Your question is interesting because unlike almost all others on this
    forum, you have no real committment to Ruby. You're just looking for the
    easiest route to solving your problem.

    As a result it rather depends precisely what your problem is.

    A database cannot measure performance. You might mean you would like to
    capture something like grade performance and then analyse that by
    teacher, course, school, curriculum, student entry grading - various
    things like that.

    The issue is do you want to do that yourself, sell a package that other
    groups could use, or set up a web site that offers a central service?

    These involve very different challenges and skill requirements.

    By the way Access is brilliant - I've never seen another database come
    close. I understand Bill Gates had a soft spot for it. It's a half
    decent relational database (Jet) but more than that it is a Query By
    Example environment. After that it does reports and forms etc.

    Access (like Excel) is a functional programming environment. Personally
    I think it is easier to pick these up than OO platforms like Ruby.

    However, Access (like Excel) is no good for Web deployment simply
    because
    Microsoft went off down the geeky .NET and Sharepoint routes and left
    simple folk high-and-dry.

    Bear in mind Phillip's remarks about Mendix are without any knowledge of
    it.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Mike Stephens, Feb 8, 2011
    #9
  10. On 8 February 2011 06:12, Phillip Gawlowski <> wrote:
    > technologies. While you can grab database engines, libraries, etc. off
    > the shelf, you have to check licensing (Anything GPL licensed will
    > *force* you to publish your own source code, for example, while the
    > LGPL doesn't have this problem), learn and deal with a lot of


    Ok you are clearly channeling Steve Balmer here. Stop with the bullshit.

    The only requirement to redistribute your source is when you modify
    the source and then distribute the resulting product.

    If you use GPLd code (say to parse XML or access a database) as part
    of your product then you have no requirement under the GPL to
    redistribute the your source code unless YOU HAVE MODIFIED THE GPLd
    CODE. And only then you only have to release the source of the
    modified code and not the whole product.

    It is in fact very rare for anyone to need to redistribute the source
    code of GPLd code. It usually only happens when you take a GPLd
    product and then modify it and release that as your own product.

    If your product is an online service then you are not distributing the
    product and there is no requirement to release your source code.

    A more pertinent issue is escrow, customers may want your code placed
    in escrow to ensure that should you go under they can continue to use
    and develop the product that they depend on.

    See a lawyer about that.
     
    Peter Hickman, Feb 8, 2011
    #10
  11. [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    Peter Hickman wrote:
    > On 8 February 2011 06:12, Phillip Gawlowski<> wrote:
    >
    >> technologies. While you can grab database engines, libraries, etc. off
    >> the shelf, you have to check licensing (Anything GPL licensed will
    >> *force* you to publish your own source code, for example, while the
    >> LGPL doesn't have this problem), learn and deal with a lot of
    >>

    > Ok you are clearly channeling Steve Balmer here. Stop with the bullshit.
    >
    >
    >
    > A more pertinent issue is escrow, customers may want your code placed
    > in escrow to ensure that should you go under they can continue to use
    > and develop the product that they depend on.
    >
    > See a lawyer about that

    Peter,

    What you have said about GPL is largely true, but don't count on
    escrowed code to be available to you or anyone but the successor owner
    of the patents and copyrights. Bankruptcy courts have consistently ruled
    that the source code is a capital asset that must be sold to satisfy the
    various people who apply to the court for redress. This overrides all
    such escrow contracts. Most companies specifically state that you do not
    own the product that you are paying for, only a right to use it. If you
    owned it, you might have some redress, but that opens up another whole
    can of worms for the company actually owning the rights. There have been
    many attempts to get around this, but I know of no specific technique
    that has consistently worked. If the source is considered abandoned or
    has been legally published into the public domain, then anyone can use
    it, but that is unlikely in any commercial situation that is not
    deliberately GPL or some similar situation. It is difficult but not
    impossible for a public corporation to release commercially valuable
    code into the public domain or to GPL, because it dilutes shareholder
    value, so the company must show that they receive value for what they
    release, which can be done.

    The real crimes and difficulties arise in the area of software patents,
    which should be banned as pernicious. Though IANAL, I dealt with
    copyright issues for a billion dollar company in my past, coaching the
    stupid lawyers on the issues. I will say that the Millennium Copyright
    Act is an almighty screwup, designed to keep Disney from losing Mickey,
    while screwing up almost everything else.

    Everett L(Rett) Williams II
     
    Everett L Williams II, Feb 8, 2011
    #11
  12. [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    Mike Stephens wrote:
    > Hilary Bailey wrote in post #980168:
    >
    >> What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    >> all entities in a school district.
    >>

    > Your question is interesting because unlike almost all others on this
    > forum, you have no real committment to Ruby. You're just looking for the
    > easiest route to solving your problem.
    >
    > As a result it rather depends precisely what your problem is.
    >
    > A database cannot measure performance. You might mean you would like to
    > capture something like grade performance and then analyse that by
    > teacher, course, school, curriculum, student entry grading - various
    > things like that.
    >
    > The issue is do you want to do that yourself, sell a package that other
    > groups could use, or set up a web site that offers a central service?
    >
    > These involve very different challenges and skill requirements.
    >
    > By the way Access is brilliant - I've never seen another database come
    > close. I understand Bill Gates had a soft spot for it. It's a half
    > decent relational database (Jet) but more than that it is a Query By
    > Example environment. After that it does reports and forms etc.
    >
    > Access (like Excel) is a functional programming environment. Personally
    > I think it is easier to pick these up than OO platforms like Ruby.
    >
    > However, Access (like Excel) is no good for Web deployment simply
    > because
    > Microsoft went off down the geeky .NET and Sharepoint routes and left
    > simple folk high-and-dry.
    >
    > Bear in mind Phillip's remarks about Mendix are without any knowledge of
    > it.
    >
    >

    You must be kidding...Access has holes in it that large trucks can be
    driven through, and the "Jet" engine must have flamed out in a
    rainstrom, because performance outside of single user setups is dismal.
    It also does not have referential integrity nor secure record locking.
    The problem is that if you use the integrated tools to build a product
    or service, when you try to scale it, you basically have to start over.
    If you use external methods to use it, the problem is less, but with
    what is available for free out there in the SQL world, not to mention a
    few other relational DB's that can scale, why would you use Access. Ugh.

    If you just must spend money on a package deal, then go buy a copy of
    Alpha 5, which can create both local and web apps and has a really nice
    IDE. If you like rolling your own, then Ruby of one form or another plus
    a free DB can be yours for nothing plus however much you want to spend
    on doc, but avoid Access for anything but one-off, single user apps for
    personal use.

    Everett L(Rett) Williams II
     
    Everett L Williams II, Feb 8, 2011
    #12
  13. Everett L Williams II wrote in post #980275:
    > > You must be kidding...Access has holes in it that large trucks can be

    > driven through, and the "Jet" engine must have flamed out in a
    > rainstrom, because performance outside of single user setups is dismal.
    > It also does not have referential integrity nor secure record locking.
    >

    We're trying to help a person who doesn't really want to grapple with
    all sorts of technolgies. Access is much more... accessible.

    I think there's a bit of snobbishness here. SQlite is trendy whereas
    Access is a rank loser. Well Jet has sophisticated view mechanisms,
    supports complex sub-queries, does transactions, referential integrity,
    security, replication etc etc. I've worked in some of the largest
    financial companies in the World and you'd be surprised how many big
    multi-site many-user Access systems are in use everyday.

    The attraction of tools like Access (and Excel) for non-professionals is
    you can experiment by seeing all the time what you are programming and
    what effects it is having.

    It's not Ruby but don't dismiss this style of IT.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Mike Stephens, Feb 8, 2011
    #13
  14. What I want to create is a product that is computer accessible, that is
    similar to a teacher's Grade Keeper, but goes farther by adding defined
    info from principals, guidance counselors, lunch provision for students,
    etc.. The reason for this approach is that this will now allow more
    complete view of a what impacts a child.

    Therefore, the daily entry of data from all participants (teachers,
    principals, security, janitors, etc...) will give an analyzer a wider
    set of defined parameter inputed data to access, then analyze. The
    problem is where to start. I read a book on Ruby, some say that my next
    step is to play with scripts, alter some commands and then test such
    adjustments. The problems is to follow a logical sequence of learning.
    For example, since i use Windows 7, have installed Ruby 1.9.2 p.136 and
    Rails, Vim7.2, and LibreOffice 3.3. and saved info to htmldog.com from
    which HTML & CSS can be learned.

    I know very well that it will take me some time, however, now where do I
    start? Should I star with htmldog tutorials, then open Rails along with
    vim7.2, then the next stage will be to explore SQlite, then MYSQL, while
    having LibreOffice Base as a source of reference?

    In terms of distribution, giving it away free will not be taken
    seriously by current educational administrators and policy makers. It
    suits me to market it and if successful, support this community plus
    other social causes of choice.

    So based on all that have been said, where, specifically (if possible)
    go from here in creating such a product.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Hilary Bailey, Feb 8, 2011
    #14
  15. Hilary Bailey

    Sam Duncan Guest

    The first thing I would do for something like this (taking the pragmatic
    approach), is design your information schema. You need to design (not
    code) your schema such that it provides the kind of analysis you are
    after with the least amount of work. It also needs to be flexible in the
    sense that you will inevitably want to start storing new kinds of
    information, and analysing the data you have in new ways. The data is,
    after all, the basis and purpose of your application.

    Whatever you decide to do it in, and I am guessing you will end up with
    a conventional relational and hopefully free database, you can assume
    that it will be comprised of tables. Tables will contain fields. The
    tables and their fields will represent some encapsulation of an entity.
    The tables, and the fields therein, will have relationships with other
    tables and their fields which will provide you with the basis for your
    analysis and reporting.

    If you are looking to roll your sleeves up and actually get started, do
    so at the data end. In that scope the collection, presentation, and
    reporting layers are largely irrelevant, that is to say; your data store
    shouldn't really care what is accessing it. Avoid the IDE and framework
    religious wars, don't bother with logos and About Us pages. Dive into
    your data store schema with a pencil and a notepad today. Anybody here
    who has used a database of some kind (and there appear to be plenty),
    will be able to help you turn your sketch into a real implementable
    schema. Of course, you will inevitably have to wade through ever more
    esoteric hooha about the specifics of that implementation ;]

    Pretty much I'm saying that I'm not a rocket scientist, and if I wanted
    to build a rocket, I would intuitively start with determining how I
    would power it.

    Sam


    On 09/02/11 05:12, Hilary Bailey wrote:
    > What I want to create is a product that is computer accessible, that is
    > similar to a teacher's Grade Keeper, but goes farther by adding defined
    > info from principals, guidance counselors, lunch provision for students,
    > etc.. The reason for this approach is that this will now allow more
    > complete view of a what impacts a child.
    >
    > Therefore, the daily entry of data from all participants (teachers,
    > principals, security, janitors, etc...) will give an analyzer a wider
    > set of defined parameter inputed data to access, then analyze. The
    > problem is where to start. I read a book on Ruby, some say that my next
    > step is to play with scripts, alter some commands and then test such
    > adjustments. The problems is to follow a logical sequence of learning.
    > For example, since i use Windows 7, have installed Ruby 1.9.2 p.136 and
    > Rails, Vim7.2, and LibreOffice 3.3. and saved info to htmldog.com from
    > which HTML& CSS can be learned.
    >
    > I know very well that it will take me some time, however, now where do I
    > start? Should I star with htmldog tutorials, then open Rails along with
    > vim7.2, then the next stage will be to explore SQlite, then MYSQL, while
    > having LibreOffice Base as a source of reference?
    >
    > In terms of distribution, giving it away free will not be taken
    > seriously by current educational administrators and policy makers. It
    > suits me to market it and if successful, support this community plus
    > other social causes of choice.
    >
    > So based on all that have been said, where, specifically (if possible)
    > go from here in creating such a product.
    >
    >
     
    Sam Duncan, Feb 8, 2011
    #15
  16. On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 10:52 AM, Peter Hickman
    <> wrote:
    >
    > Ok you are clearly channeling Steve Balmer here. Stop with the bullshit.
    >
    > The only requirement to redistribute your source is when you modify
    > the source and then distribute the resulting product.


    No, the requirement is to publish *derivative* code. And since the GPL
    doesn't outline under which circumstances a specific work becomes
    derivative, with no court cases to clarify the issue, the question is
    out in the open:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#NFUseGPLPlugins

    Hence the LGPL: It makes clear that using a library doesn't taint *your* code.

    > If your product is an online service then you are not distributing the
    > product and there is no requirement to release your source code.


    The Affero GPL *does* establish such a requirement.

    > See a lawyer about that.


    Absolutely. Or use libraries licensed with a non-copyleft license
    (BSD, MIT, and similar).

    --
    Phillip Gawlowski

    Though the folk I have met,
    (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    When I've moved on to some other place,
    There may be one or two,
    When I've played and passed through,
    Who'll remember my song or my face.
     
    Phillip Gawlowski, Feb 8, 2011
    #16
  17. [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    Mike Stephens wrote:
    > Everett L Williams II wrote in post #980275:
    >
    >>> You must be kidding...Access has holes in it that large trucks can be
    >>>

    >> driven through, and the "Jet" engine must have flamed out in a
    >> rainstrom, because performance outside of single user setups is dismal.
    >> It also does not have referential integrity nor secure record locking.
    >>
    >>

    > We're trying to help a person who doesn't really want to grapple with
    > all sorts of technolgies. Access is much more... accessible.
    >
    > I think there's a bit of snobbishness here. SQlite is trendy whereas
    > Access is a rank loser. Well Jet has sophisticated view mechanisms,
    > supports complex sub-queries, does transactions, referential integrity,
    > security, replication etc etc. I've worked in some of the largest
    > financial companies in the World and you'd be surprised how many biga
    > multi-site many-user Access systems are in use everydayAnd, .
    >
    > The attraction of tools like Access (and Excel) for non-professionals is
    > you can experiment by seeing all the time what you are programming and
    > what effects it is having.
    >
    > It's not Ruby but don't dismiss this style of IT

    I was dismissing it because there are better, faster, simpler tools out
    there that are equivalent in cost and cheaper when distributed. And,
    referentiaql integrity is only maintained if you check all the right
    boxes and know about the holes that exist and correct for them. And
    record and page level locking is such a mess that I will never trust it,
    having been lied to by MS on so many occasions on the subject. They say
    it works, and then you find out the list of exceptions and so forth and
    so on, and so often, it is not in your control. The Jet engine was
    borrowed from Fox technology when they bought that company, and has been
    sadly neglected ever since. I really hate to trust MS on anything about
    Access.

    Everett L(Rett) Williams II
     
    Everett L Williams II, Feb 8, 2011
    #17
  18. Hilary Bailey

    Justine B. Guest

    Phillip Gawlowski wrote in post #980190:
    > On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 2:55 AM, Hilary Bailey <>
    > wrote:
    >>
    >> Hi Phillip,
    >> What I want to create is a database that can measure the performance of
    >> all entities in a school district. The closest software that exhibits
    >> some semblance is that of Microsoft Access. Where, as I understand it,
    >> the input entry of a single data can be housed and then derived, through
    >> a set of queries, then further analyzed through/by Microsoft Solver
    >> software.

    >
    > That's a feature all relational databases share: You store data, query
    > the data, and do something with the results.
    >
    > However, you don't *need* Access (which is an expensive toy to deploy
    > software on for a school) for that, but a plain' ol' database.
    >
    > Investigate SQLite (excellent for "embedded" databases, since it's
    > light-weight and can be used from pretty much every programming
    > language, and is Public Domain) if you want to write software that
    > ends up on a PC, or whatever is popular on the web: MySQL/MariaDB or
    > PostgreSQL.
    >
    >> The difference with my proposal would be that based on selected
    >> indicators [which will be dynamically influenced by changed event(s) and
    >> policy(ies], which would be able to measure success. I have been exposed
    >> to a statistical software named SPSS and having worked as an economist,
    >> has influenced my outlook on creating an approach/database/software
    >> which would indicate in real time, measured results.

    >
    > Sounds like a standard use-case for OLAP:
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_analytical_processing
    >
    >> Mike Stephens recommended Mendix as a possible solution to my woes. Do
    >> you know of such arena?

    >
    > I don't trust tools that claim to write software for you. ;)
    >
    > Mind, a visual tool can be very helpful (I like to easily visualize
    > SQL databases and their key relations, for example), but I'm quite
    > sure that Mendix itself won't help you in your case: There's no
    > business process per se in what you want to roll out, and all those
    > "UML to Software" tools have fallen flat, requiring manual
    > "optimization".
    >
    >> Therefore, I figured that, doing it all by myself may be the best
    >> solution. However, some of my concerns are: "Why reinvent the wheel?',
    >> How can I create a sustainable system that does not compromise quality?,
    >> What curriculum structure should I follow that will meet my needs
    >> without, straying from my goals?
    >>
    >> Therefore, this is my dilemma, which seems to be going in circles. Any
    >> suggestions.

    >
    > Yes. Incorporate a business before too long, and start looking for a
    > technical co-founder now. What you want to do isn't impossible for a
    > single person. Said person needs a bit of experience in a lot of
    > technologies. While you can grab database engines, libraries, etc. off
    > the shelf, you have to check licensing (Anything GPL licensed will
    > *force* you to publish your own source code, for example, while the
    > LGPL doesn't have this problem), learn and deal with a lot of
    > technologies (databases, client / server computing or web programming,
    > OLAP, reporting, data entry), which is... well, just a tad much to get
    > started with a business of any sort.
    >
    > And you have a good litmus test for a technical person: Can they and
    > do they want to teach you to code. :)
    >
    > Mind, you should find a technical person you can, push comes to shove,
    > bind with an NDA either way, simply to buy expertise in rather tough
    > areas that you shouldn't deal with as a beginner, like application
    > security (doubly so if you want to launch a website!).
    >
    > --
    > Phillip Gawlowski
    >
    > Though the folk I have met,
    > (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    > When I've moved on to some other place,
    > There may be one or two,
    > When I've played and passed through,
    > Who'll remember my song or my face.



    Mendix doesn't claim to write software for you. In fact, no code is
    generated; the visual model is the application! You can extend the
    application with Java if you so choose, but 99% of the time you don't
    need to. You can build a complete working application (including the
    data, presentation, and logic layers and security) in just days with
    one-click deployment.

    In this case you can use Mendix to setup a view of your data within 5
    minutes ... just download a free trial at http://www.mendix.com (Try it
    Now button). If you wish to view external data, the free database
    replication widget is available in the app store.

    Or attend Mendix training (there is one next week in Boston) and they
    will show you how! http://www.mendix.com/company/events/

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Justine B., Feb 9, 2011
    #18
  19. Sam Duncan wrote in post #980397:
    Sam, I think you are correct in your assessment. In terms of the
    database, should I indulge in LibreOffice Base or use Sqlite/SQL? After
    such decision,is it possible to add components from PSPP and LibreOffice
    spreadsheet plus others, to create a software? In other words, just like
    making a car, where we add different parts to create a product, can the
    same logic be used to create a software.

    The first thing I would do for something like this (taking the pragmatic
    > approach), is design your information schema. You need to design (not
    > code) your schema such that it provides the kind of analysis you are
    > after with the least amount of work. It also needs to be flexible in the
    > sense that you will inevitably want to start storing new kinds of
    > information, and analysing the data you have in new ways. The data is,
    > after all, the basis and purpose of your application.
    >
    > Whatever you decide to do it in, and I am guessing you will end up with
    > a conventional relational and hopefully free database, you can assume
    > that it will be comprised of tables. Tables will contain fields. The
    > tables and their fields will represent some encapsulation of an entity.
    > The tables, and the fields therein, will have relationships with other
    > tables and their fields which will provide you with the basis for your
    > analysis and reporting.
    >
    > If you are looking to roll your sleeves up and actually get started, do
    > so at the data end. In that scope the collection, presentation, and
    > reporting layers are largely irrelevant, that is to say; your data store
    > shouldn't really care what is accessing it. Avoid the IDE and framework
    > religious wars, don't bother with logos and About Us pages. Dive into
    > your data store schema with a pencil and a notepad today. Anybody here
    > who has used a database of some kind (and there appear to be plenty),
    > will be able to help you turn your sketch into a real implementable
    > schema. Of course, you will inevitably have to wade through ever more
    > esoteric hooha about the specifics of that implementation ;]
    >
    > Pretty much I'm saying that I'm not a rocket scientist, and if I wanted
    > to build a rocket, I would intuitively start with determining how I
    > would power it.
    >
    > Sam


    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Hilary Bailey, Feb 11, 2011
    #19
  20. [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    Hilary Bailey wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Pretty much I'm saying that I'm not a rocket scientist, and if I wanted
    >> to build a rocket, I would intuitively start with determining how I
    >> would power it.
    >>
    >> Sam
    >>

    >

    *Hiloary,

    Sam's advice is sound as far as it goes, but if you are as you represent
    yourself, your odds of producing a salable project any time in the next
    couple of years seems remote, regardless of the tool you choose. That is
    not meant as an insult, but an evaluation of your questions. Find that
    tech pro that has been spoken of here, and let that person select the
    tools that they know well enough to accomplish the task or at least take
    a long look at their advice before selecting tools. Rather than try to
    build any technical data descriptions, I would say that you should write
    up as detailed a description as you can manage of the data that you
    believe must be collected and from where it is to be collected, and also
    write up as detailed a description as you can of the evaluations that
    you want to be built into the product and those that you want to be
    available dynamically. Most of the targets that you will have in this
    situation will probably want to export selected data to a spreadsheet
    and than manipulate that data with said spreadsheet. If you want to
    select LibreOffice for that or MS's product, that will be something that
    you can probably leave to the users. Standard analysis can be built into
    the product. I really see this as a DB with data entry forms and a few
    tools for data selection. That can be done directly in several of the
    free SQL products, or if you want to build a web based product, the
    something like Alpha 5 from Alphasoftware.com could manage it in a very
    short window of time. Doing large amounts of custom programming on this
    would seem to be a self defeating effort.

    Everett L(Rett) Williams II
    *
     
    Everett L Williams II, Feb 11, 2011
    #20
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