[lug] Development & reporting tool choices

Paul E Condon pecondon at mesanetworks.net
Thu Feb 5 19:25:52 MST 2009

On 2009-02-05_18:34:16, David Morris wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 16:50, Kevin Kempter <kevin at kevinkempterllc.com> wrote:
> > Hi All;
> >
> > We're preparing to embark on a new development project. It will eventually be
> > released dual projects similar to Red Hat with a commercially supported side
> > and a leading edge open source side.
> >
> >
> > The project will pull data from a database and present info to users. We'll
> > need a graph/chart component and a way to generate html, PDF and spreadsheet
> > reports/downloads. It will be a web based interface.
> >
> > Questions:
> >
> > 1) I'm thinking we'll write the initial commercial (closed source) code in C.
> > Anyone have any thoughts/alternative suggestions ?
> >
> > 2) anyone know of a good source of C library routines (something like CPAN) ?
> >
> > 3) Any thoughts on the methods to generate XML via C ?
> >
> > 4) Any suggestions per the generation of the PDF, HTML, etc reports on screen
> > and for download ? maybe php within the web front end? a set of C routines to
> > be called based on basic report parameters? others ?
> Not certain if the language is flexible, but unless performance is an
> issue, I might be tempted to use Python instead of C.  The Python
> language has some fantastic libraries for database access, XML
> handling, string parsing, PDF generation, and web-page interfacing.  A
> lot of functionality comes in the standard libraries shipped with the
> language, the rest in widely used third-party libraries (such as
> ReportLab for PDF generation).  You can also easily interface to C/C++
> code if needed using SWIG.
> It is still possible to provide closed-source binaries for python
> code, FYI.  I haven't done this myself, but I know there are a couple
> of different ways to handle it.

Choosing to go with the closed source development first seems to me putting
the cart before the horse. There are many open source library packages, and
gcc is a quite adequate C compiler. Using open source tools to produce 
software does not commit you to always being rabidly open source. Using free
(as in beer) tools will make your project much less costly. Having your early,
buggy code open to help from interested computer people will be good for the
project. ... all the usual arguments why open source is good ... 

just my $.02
Paul E Condon           
pecondon at mesanetworks.net

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