Meeting with Heng Sin

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Meeting with Heng Sin

Postby red1 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:20 am

I rarely called upon Heng Sin but did so again yesterday, and as usual had a long lunch conversation near his office in Tropicana's Merchant Square, Kuala Lumpur from 1pm till 3pm. Again, i learnt alot of things that are vital in a bazaar-like software project as well as the subject matter of ERP software design.

He told me about consistency of the document-centric architecture, that is formed by Compiere and should be adhered to or else it be terribly confusing to users and also ourselves. I was showing him what i found out about Libero Manufacturing through my tests, and he pointed out that the way i used the Manufacturing Order by getting it on IP or 'In Progress' mode while producing another document which is the Cost Collector document in the transaction is out of step with the Compiere conventional flow. Any document that is under IP status means something is stopping it from 'Complete' and it should not move to another document just yet till it is satisfied. Heng Sin described this as part of the integrity of an ERP system. It also breaks the audit requirement that such document is not certain at different places. In that aspect, he affirmed that Teo Sarca's approach of converting Robert Klein's Fixed Assets to a more document-centric regime as spot-on correct. He assured me that i can rely on Teo for better Java design and coding too.

He gave me more names but i won't want to lose more friends at every sentence :). But he assured me that he has his own good code rejected by other projects before and he does not question the project maintainer on their choice. The maintainer hardly need to argue with others and you have a choice to accept it or leave. He cited Linus Torvalds in the Linux project for example who throws out some very good code and lost peers but that is the way it is. (Later the good ones returned to Linus or are replaced with better ones). He wished we have that practice since the beginning. But we didn't. Ah, well.

What i understand from him is that we are actually behind time and late in our development with regards to the technical roadmap. We are supposed to get past the OSGi framework or anything to allow us to put everything we got together in a consistent and persistent structure without losing more customers. We must drop things that are not well maintained or at least declared on which part of it is not maintained, truthfully. He shoos off the notion that we can hide anything on the Internet. Even though our ZK Ajax interface is the best to date in emulating the desktop client, beating our siblings in the global quest for the perfect ERP software, we do not have what OpenBravo has achieved which is the scalability of the AD. Our AD is still resolved in realtime which is bad for processing time over many many users. I asked him when he can do that, and he said, it is still a long way to go judging on where we are at the moment.

About the politics, he has his very simplistic approach. He will stick to whoever really contributes and end the conversation with those who do not. Thus he will return to the ADempiere project if he finds things in order and coders really code something worthwhile for him to look at. He disagrees that any software project is meaningful if it does not have good code and good code added over reasonable time. All this while since 2006, we can count on one foot who really contributes. Again he gave me names which i rather not mention to make those names lose their own friends. Meanwhile he supports the iDempiere release by Carlos Ruiz and hope he can find time to use that as trunk but will maintain his own pet repository just in case another nuclear fallout happens as insurance policy.

As a result of every meeting with him, i find myself growing in understanding that i would not have gotten from books. I also presented him the ADempiere CookBook as a gift sent by Packt to me on behalf of the community. He considered Bayu Cahaya's book as the more suitable one for our use and that the CookBook is only needed when you have their exact topics to solve.
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