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Re: ERP application as Zsh module -- thought?

On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 09:04:13AM -0700, Bart Schaefer wrote:
> On Oct 12,  1:55am, William Park wrote:
> }
> } I am developing "ERP system for small business".  The underlying data
> } structure is spreadsheet (ie. 2D sparse table) where the rows act like
> } arrays.
> } 
> } I would like to embed my application as Zsh module.
> May I ask, why?  I don't know a lot of small business owners who know
> their way around in a shell, and zsh doesn't exactly handle 2D arrays
> cleanly, much less databases of them.

Why?  Well, it allows me to concentrate on data entry and processing,
which is the business side of things.  For the market in question, key
characteristic is custom business logic.  Each logic may be simple and
short, but there are so many.  And, someone has to program all these

To do this in C, you'd need to edit C code and run "make" every time.
I actually prefer this, but people may be more comfortable with short
shell scripts.  I'll be adding couple of builtins for:
    - reading/writing spreadsheet files
    - reading/writing cells
    - pattern searching along the rows
These are for "data processing", or something called "posting" and
"report".  Once business logic is set, there is no user interaction.

"Data entry" is separate but important, because most users will interact
with this menu screens.  Right now, I'm thinking ncurses window, as it's
closely related to POS (point of sale).  I'll have to see if it can also
be done as Zsh builtins.

All in all, the spreadsheet file format is ASCII, so that you can use
vi/awk as last resort.  Filesystem serves as btree database (which it
is), and shell serves as calculator and interpretor glue (which it is).
Just lazy way of doing things... :-)

> (Well, OK, *I* know a number of small business owners who know their
> way around in a shell, but I have to assume I'm an outlier in that
> respect, and I also know a number of them who would be totally lost.)

Owners will not do entire system themselves.  They would first get the
initial system with the business logic they need, and then customize
themselves or get someone to do it.  I personally think that editing C
code or shell script takes the same amount of effort.  Really, how
difficult is it to type "vi" and followed by "make".

Making the initial sale is the most important thing, because subsequent
customizations tend to be simple usually.  To that end, I cannot ignore
"comfort factor".

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