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 WinBuilder DBMS Beta Client Packages, Searchable project management, tracking, cataloging, downloading
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post Mar 28 2008, 02:13 AM
Post #1
Arvy
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  Joined: 4-January 08 From: Canada, Parry Sound

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Canada


A WinBuilder DBMS prototype has now reached the v0.10 beta stage in response to comments that were offered on the earlier WinBuilder Browser project. (See here and here .) It should be noted and emphasized at the outset that this development route DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE and WILL NOT REQUIRE any database installation whatever by any end user, NOR by any potential client developer. The database itself can reside and run anywhere and is, at least potentially, a distributable client-server system.

The intention is to provide all of the advantages of fully searchable* RDBMS-supported project management, tracking, versioning, cataloging, downloading, etc. across the entire spectrum of multi-client, multi-contributor WB development with the absolute minimum of manual inputs by any of the parties involved and without the need for local listing upkeep by developers who have better things to do. At the same time, to facilitate possible transition, it remains fully compatible with and updatable by WinBuilder's existing system of .INI files that are locally maintained for each WB project. (*Only rudimentary search capabilities are implemented to date, but the possibilities are virtually unlimited.)

The WinBuilder DBMS can update its own records either from directly acquired file data on a client site (a "one-touch" client command) or by fully automated importation of .INI file data from remote sites, regardless of whether the latter are active DBMS clients. In fact, with only minimal PHP set-up by participating client developers, it can also generate their local .INI files automatically so long as they may continue to be needed for any purpose.

Client set-ups require no "config file" editing at all. As will be evident when exploring the administrative interface, all client configuration and preference settings, including language and stylesheet selections, are handled by the DBMS itself and may be modified by the client's designated administrator as desired using "self-documented" online forms. The designated client administrator may also add, edit and delete additional users with specified privileges at will.

For additional information, see the online manual.

To view and test online, see the demo installation. (Admin login as "admin", password "admin")

To download your own DBMS beta client package, fill in the database registration form.

PLEASE NOTE: While every good faith effort will be made to protect and preseve all data that is entered by DBMS clients, it should be understood that, especially during the beta testing phase, it is impossible to guarantee total data integrity. Local INI files will, in any case, continue to be held in place by all sites thus providing their own fallback regardless of DBMS client installation and usage.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard


2 user(s) said "Thank you!" to Arvy for this fantastic post:
allanf, Galapo
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post Mar 28 2008, 08:24 PM
Post #2
Arvy
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UPDATE: Just a couple of early screenshots for those who are more motivated visually than by mere words. I suppose that's almost everybody. smile.gif

User Interface - Search results:

Attached Image


Admin Interface - Client Preferences:

Attached Image


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Mar 28 2008, 08:46 PM
Post #3
psc
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Group: .script developer

  Joined: 14-July 06 From: Korschenbroich

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Germany


QUOTE (Arvy @ Mar 28 2008, 09:24 PM) *
UPDATE: Just a couple of early screenshots for those who are more motivated visually than by mere words. I suppose that's almost everybody. smile.gif

User Interface - Search results:

Attached Image


Admin Interface - Client Preferences:

Attached Image

The first screenshot: 1st.gif
It really helps when looking for a certain script.
(May I steel your idea to build into downloadEx? cheers.gif )

To the second one I have some (WinBuilder system) concerns:

Currently there are a couple of .script developers. Each of them 'owns' one or more servers where projects / scripts can be stored by him / her.

But each of them also can only maintain his / her 'own' server.

I see some difficulties to make a 'generalized' admin access for all servers.

Peter


--------------------
Build the house starting with the basement rather than with the roof! But always have in mind how the roof should be made!

There are very rarely problems, in most cases there are issues.

There are never stupid questions, there can be only stupid answers.

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post Mar 28 2008, 09:25 PM
Post #4
Arvy
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Peter, there is almost NOTHING that cannot be accomodated and accomplished with an RDBMS-based sytem where each client establishes his own individual configuration parameters within the database itself. I've already tested its capabilities for data import, etc. with every one of the clients currently listed before changing the params to "fake" settings for demo purposes.

As for your "stealing" my ideas, any work that I have ever done for any community, mine, unlike some others, has always been provided as completely open-sourced upon completion. All of my file headers, when released, read as follows:
QUOTE
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------- //
// Original Author : Richard Virtue ("Arvy") - http://virtech.org/
// Licence Type : Public GNU/GPL
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------- //


But this one is, as yet, neither completed nor released. So let your own conscience be your guide.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Mar 31 2008, 06:28 AM
Post #5
Arvy
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UPDATE #2: To facilitate client project management, a full-featured PHP file manager has been added to the "Client Operations" section of the administrative interface.

Attached Image


While its appearance is a bit ugly at this early stage (opens in its own window 'cuz it needs the working space), the file manager can accomodate Shell Execute commands and archive/unarchive functions (TAR, GZIP, BZIP2 and ZIP) as well as the usual upload, copy, move, rename and chmod operations.

Attached Image


Due to PHP limitations, most site managers will usually prefer FTP uploading for large files, but the PHP file manager is able to handle multi-file uploads when the file sizes are within PHP limits.

Attached Image


Please play around with it on the Test Client Server site and help me to find all the bugs before any beta release if we can. I'm sure it has a few at this early prototype stage.

__
SPECIAL COMMENT RE FILE ARCHIVING WITH PHP (Nuno Brito please note): For some reason (perhaps deliberate, perhaps not) the PHP set-up on the winbuilder.net server does not have the ZIP.DLL extension enabled. For this reason, no one on that sever can use PHP scripts to UNarchive ZIP-compressed files. All TAR, GZIP, BZIP2 and ZIP compression and all TAR, GZIP and BZIP2 decompression can be handled by the file manager's internal functions. But, like any similar PHP application, it needs the ZIP.DLL extension enabled to handle decompression of ZIP archives. It would seem like a very useful thing to have enabled on the winbulder.net server in any case.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Apr 1 2008, 01:12 AM
Post #6
allanf
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Hi Arvy,

I have been playing with this. If anything is broken, I'll have to put my hands up.

I uploaded a little project 'pe2', then downloaded it with Winbuilder's Download Center.

The File Manager looks extremely powerful. When it first starts, it allows access to all areas from the navigation '<</home/arvy/browser.winbuilder.net/dbclient' in the right pane. After selecting a project directory from the left tree, the navigation seems to become restricted with ''/home/.fluke/arvy/browser.winbuilder.net/projects' (no '<<').

It is a bit scary to see an edit button next to the files of every project on the server - not just the test projects - when logged in so easily. ... and copy, move, delete, etc.

A small issue: When navigating in the 'User Page' - changing projects in the drop-down - it is necessary to click 'Go' twice to refresh the file list. (EDIT: Not to worry. I know why - the first click of 'Go' updates to 'Folders' drop-down.) Also the File Manager seems a little bit sticky in the same regard when changing project directories - although I couldn't get consistent results.

And even smaller issue: Some windows from the File Manager need resizing to show all the buttons. eg 'Permissions' Window, and the 'Edit' File Window.

Regards smile.gif
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post Apr 1 2008, 05:05 AM
Post #7
Arvy
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  Joined: 4-January 08 From: Canada, Parry Sound

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QUOTE (allanf @ Mar 31 2008, 09:12 PM) *
Hi Arvy,

I have been playing with this. If anything is broken, I'll have to put my hands up. ...


Hi allanf.

Well, it's not supposed to be broken, but I'm sure there are probably a few bugs to be found somewhere. They're usually discovered right after an initial release. biggrin.gif

I'm not even sure if this thing will actually turn out to be useful to anyone or not. But, in the meantime, I'm having a little fun just discovering what is possible based on the assumptions that (1) developers must find local list keeping at least slightly annoying and (2) there may be some "community" advantages in a somewhat more organised and integrated approach to "cataloguing" the total WinBuilder output across all projects -- if not immediately, then at some point in the foreseeable future. Anyhow, all of your comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

I can well understand that the overall "exposure effect" may appear a bit scary, but most of that is simply inherent in the powerful nature of the combined PHP-SQL "beast". In many respects, the separate DBMS records actually add security. You can be assured that the secure integrity of other people's sites and work efforts (not to mention my own) is always uppermost in my mind to the extent that I will never accept any compromise in that area regardless of opportunity or inducement.

Yes, the demo test set-up is quite "wide open" as it must be to "display the goods", so to speak, but not without safeguards that may not be obvious. I've hobbled the demo a bit more to keep from scaring others too much, although I sometimes wonder if people really understand how vulnerable they are and how important security is. When it comes to thievery and just plain mean destructiveness, not everyone shares the same ethical standards. Anyhow, you can certainly expect some "safecracker security" in anything that is actually released, even at the beta stage. That's one of several reasons why there is no downloadable client package available yet.

The user "frontend" is definitely sloppy in many ways and you've put your finger on one that needs fixing right away. In fact, having spent most time to date focussed on "internals" and on client "self-administration" convenience, I intend making the user page my next priorirty. Hopefully, you'll be seeing some major improvements in the immediate future. (Think I've got that silly and annoying server-project-folder selection and display nonsense beat now if you have time for another quick look.) In any case, the user page definitely needs vast improvment as the first-seen "portal" to the rest of the package. As it stands, I don't think it could ever make a dime in the (self-)promotional and advertising game. rolleyes.gif

As for the client file manager, it's really just "tacked on" for the time being. Proper integration of its "framed" windows into the overall admin interface will take a little while, but should be accomplished prior to any beta release -- I hope. smile.gif

Thanks again for taking the time to give me your very welcome feedback.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Apr 3 2008, 04:17 AM
Post #8
Arvy
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UPDATE #3: Narrowing the gap toward availability of a downloadable beta package, an automated client registration process is now in place and fully functional.

Attached Image


Unfortunately, I can't offer this one for pre-testing on the open demo platform. If you click the «Register WinBuilder DBMS Client» link at the bottom of the admin login box, it will go through the motions but won't "deliver the goods". Its actual operation would have results that we're not quite ready for yet.

Attached Image


Any real clients that might get added, would introduce considerable difficulty into any major DBMS structural changes that might yet be required to accomodate overlooked data fields.

The next step is the one most developers hate most. Complete documentation. Aaarrrghhh! blink.gif


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Apr 5 2008, 03:47 AM
Post #9
Arvy
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An online manual is now available. It's only preliminary, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that documentation is my least favourite development job. It will grow. I promise.

The new client registration feature remains temporarily unavailable at this time. It is anticipated that a version 0.10 beta package will be available shortly (7-10 days) at which time the "self serve" client registration will be enabled.

Client reqistration is being held in abeyance to ensure that all data that is entered thereafter can be fully preserved regardless of any dB structural changes that may be needed to accomodate feature requests in subsequent releases. The establishment of multiple offsite backup-restore facilities for that purpose (and simply as a matter of sound dB management practice) will require a few more days.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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post Apr 12 2008, 12:09 AM
Post #10
Arvy
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WinBuilder DBMS v0.10beta client packages are now available by completing the database registration form. Please see the top posting in this thread for details and links to additional information.

Those registering as primary client site administrators should note that whatever privileges (Upload, Update, Delete, Admin) they may grant to any others they may choose to add currently apply to all projects on their respective client sites. It is anticipated the future versions will make such privileges assignable to specific projects, but that is not currently the case. It's "in the mill" and should require only a week at most.


--------------------
Regards,
Richard
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