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Re: System selection. WAS: Attention Java gurus! Linux sucks, I want my OpenBSD!

m christensen wrote:

Lars Hansson wrote:

Jens Ropers wrote:

At the peril of going off-topic and joining a thread that's already fierily ablaze -- I'm intrigued: can you elaborate on that? Why don't technical features matter and what matters instead?

Because all too often these decisions are made by managers with little or no technical comnpetence who lack understanding of the issues.

You know It goes deeper than that.
The after a given point "technical issues" do really take second place to more important considerations.

I am in a position where I need an accounting system for MY use.
I'm a 'unix' and open source bigot.
I HATE canned apps where I can't 'fix' problems and shortcomings I run up against.

I went thru over a dozen systems all but 4 were open source projects.

Some ran on "Real" Relational databases (much better than proprietary or MS access based, ON A TECHNICAL LEVEL)
Most had source code so I could tweak them if required (Better on a TECHNICAL level)
Most were free (Better on a Geek, Cheap SOB and Techie level)

BUT none of them actually WORKED from a business standpoint.
Sure, apache, postgresql, perl, mySQL, Java and Python are bitchin' but the simple fact is after all the screwing around
I need something my employees can use, my accountant can extract data from and ultimately something that can
simply prepare my US paychecks and calculate everything right without dicking with it constantly.

My time is better spent tweaking other peoples crap systems and getting paid for it than messing with my own.

I'm hardly a Pointy Haired Boss and COULD have made several of the other systems work but the payback
simply was not there.

Yes, SQL ledger could have worked.
Yes it was "Free"...
But you know 200 bucks for a canned system that does time-and-billing, payroll and all the
standard accounting stuff out of the box, kicks the shit out of everything else I looked at.

Yes, it runs on windows and nothing else.
Yeah, the OS is 'inferior'.
Yeah, it's more prone to hacking.
Yes, there are "Better" Operating systems out there, BUT...

I had a specific need.
I found a product that fit that need.
It's not one of the new breed of always-online-calling-home-copy-protected-limited-life-bleed-you-dry
for-updates-and-fixes systems so it's possible to actually USE it WITHOUT an internet connection.
It's amazing how rare that is becoming.
As such it can be on a network and absolutely isolated from the dangers of the net.

I found a product that documented the "Data Dictionary" it used to store my accounting information.
It uses a database engine that will allow me to write code to directly access and change the data.
from that standpoint it's 'open'.

The fact some people may prefer, Linux, openBSD, FreeBSD, OS X, Solaris, Suns, Macs, Silicon Graphics......
For whatever technical reasons does not really matter in the end!

Yes, actually the OS/Platform does play a significant role. My manager, who happens to be somewhat limited in his knowledge of how to work a computer has spent time discussing why platforms do matter with me. His reasoning is simple... he's been around IT and seen poor platforms get plagued with the naivity that are stating here.

In the end for a manager or owner there are only a few driving questions. #1 Does the proposed solution work for you?

Are you qualified to answer that question? Too many suites think they're getting a great deal, but it's still just a salesman talking about his prize. I've seen it countless times where the deliverables are IMPOSSIBLE to get correctly, or they have to "upgrade" or patch to make systems do those deliverables you really liked.

This includes usability issues, the fact Suzie in accounting and Ed in shipping, and are computer
'illeterate' and ONLY do windows and have not 'clued in' to the 'more better way' of open source and
the non-windows-world does not mean they are not damn good at their REAL jobs.
All the want and need are the tools to do the REAL work they are hired for.

It sounds like you hired people who shouldn't be doing that postion if they can't use a computer. Can they surf the web? Create a simple web based application. Simple to tweak, *could* run on anything and costs nothing.

#2 Can you afford the solution?

$200 in IT land is a drop in the bucket. Like most Managers, you should be cautioned about "the price is right" type solutions.

#3 What's the cost for upkeep of the solution?
#4 Are there technical issues that PRECLUDE using that solution?
Better technically is great until it precludes using the 'right application', then it's just stupid.

I've been doing this for many years and have seen almost as many screwed up systems due to
letting the 'geeks' have free reign as the classic management stupidity.

It sounds like you've been along for the ride for many years, but like you haven't been very successful.

I saw one LARGE business system where all the data was encoded in ASN.1. Holy crap, what a nightmare from a database search and update standpoint. But it was 'Better' "because you could put anything in there". You'd never find it again, but it was in there....

I'm as prone to going overboard with the 'it's better technically' mentality but like to think I have
gained the maturity realize when I'm going overboard and back off.

Ulitmately the intent is to provide a specific tool to fill a specific need.
"Technical" issues that don't have a direct bearing on that goal ARE unimportant.

You've showed/proved that you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I see people like you screw up more crap with this talk. Save this speach for your directors/managers meeting.

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