New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

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althaus
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:37 am

New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby althaus » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:58 am

Hi there,

so I just wanted to write a topic and now I can even do this in a fresh new forum. Yay! :)

Ok... here we go:
Searching for a webbased bugtracker I stumbled upon etraxis and as it looked fine I gave it a try. After some problems getting started (based on the file access rights and a set owner who differed from that) I managed to get it working. I really like it. Although the beginning is quite demanding if you start from scratch (lots of clicks ^^) I like the well figured out design. So thumbs up for your work!

Now I have a couple of questions:
* Is it possible to integrated etraxis into an existing webproject (in meanings of the user database)? The idea is that I want to use it for a webproject for bugtracking and feature requests. The project already has an userdatabase and I'd love to prevent the need of doubled accounts. I could feed the etraxis database through a script, but I'd prefer any other solution.

* Is it possible to integrated etraxis into an existing webproject (in meanings of the appearance/design)? Looking into the code I could modify the CSS, but I'm missing a template system or something similar.

* Currently there's no real guest/public access, correct? A guest is someone registered, but who isn't "part of" the active project?

* The template system is really powerfull, but also quite demanding at the beginning. As you already can export your created templates, have you thought about creating a pool of usercreated templates? This could help new users to set up their projects. Imho it would be easier to modify existing templates as creating them from scratch. I was working with your example bug.xml to get started and create my own bug record. I then created a record for "feature request"... but I'm still not fully satisfied with my creation. So it would be helpfull to see what others do... like some creative pool. I know that companies will already have well-defined processes most of the time, but I'm working more with community projects.

Finally: I'll repeat myself: Great work!

Cheers
Matthias

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Artem
eTraxis Support
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Re: New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby Artem » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:34 pm

Hi Matthias,

Thank you for your feedback! Glad to see eTraxis is spreading. :)
Let me answer your questions one by one:
althaus wrote:Is it possible to integrated etraxis into an existing webproject (in meanings of the user database)? The idea is that I want to use it for a webproject for bugtracking and feature requests. The project already has an userdatabase and I'd love to prevent the need of doubled accounts. I could feed the etraxis database through a script, but I'd prefer any other solution.
No, there is no such functionality. The simplest workaround I see is update the function in your webproject, which creates a new account, to make it create this account twice - in original database and in eTraxis (not quite elegant, though). All already existing accounts can be imported to eTraxis by script, as you mentioned.

I also thought about possibility to rewrite 'accounts' module in eTraxis to make it work with your database instead of eTraxis one. But actually it's not going to work since the accounts datatable is joined quite extensively with other eTraxis datatables, so it will take a lot of changes in the code, will introduce new issues, and I'm sure you will lost in performance. In the same case I should double accounts - it's not a lot of data and definitely not a question of wasting storage space. ;)
althaus wrote:Is it possible to integrated etraxis into an existing webproject (in meanings of the appearance/design)? Looking into the code I could modify the CSS, but I'm missing a template system or something similar.
Yes, the appearance can be changed completely. The current interface design is made of two files - 'src/css/etraxis.css' and 'src/engine/engine.xsl'. eTraxis generates preliminary XML-pages instead of HTML-ones. After been generated, the XML-page is translated into HTML by 'engine.xsl', which defines what HTML-tags each of used XML tags should be converted to. So, you have to set another HTML-tags sequences in 'engine.xsl' and this is how the interface design can be changed completely. You probably will need to see the 'xml2html' function in 'src/engine/xml.php', which description is available at Function Reference ('Engine' -> 'XML' -> 'xml2html').
althaus wrote:Currently there's no real guest/public access, correct? A guest is someone registered, but who isn't "part of" the active project?
Yes, the unauthorized access is just out of eTraxis vision, imho, so there are no guest access in common meaning, like it is on different forums and other ID-systems. A 'guest' in eTraxis is a guest in a project, and this is a person which doesn't belong to any of local project groups. So, if I'm a member of some group of project A and not a member of any of groups of project B, then I'm a member of the team in project A and a guest in project B.
althaus wrote:The template system is really powerfull, but also quite demanding at the beginning. As you already can export your created templates, have you thought about creating a pool of usercreated templates? This could help new users to set up their projects. Imho it would be easier to modify existing templates as creating them from scratch. I was working with your example bug.xml to get started and create my own bug record. I then created a record for "feature request"... but I'm still not fully satisfied with my creation. So it would be helpfull to see what others do... like some creative pool. I know that companies will already have well-defined processes most of the time, but I'm working more with community projects.
Yes, it's good idea. And I think that also, besides sharing custom templates, it will be useful to define .xml templates for most popular "competitors" to make anyone able initiate a template which is already familiar to him. Do you have something to share? :) I think I can create page for this share on eTraxis wiki.

Best regards,
Artem
Best regards,
Artem

althaus
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:37 am

Re: New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby althaus » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:24 am

Hi again and sorry for my late reply... I thought that I activated a reply notification... :?
arodygin wrote:No, there is no such functionality. The simplest workaround I see is update the function in your webproject, which creates a new account, to make it create this account twice - in original database and in eTraxis (not quite elegant, though). All already existing accounts can be imported to eTraxis by script, as you mentioned.
Hmhm... ok... it's a pity, but I fully understand your point.
arodygin wrote:I also thought about possibility to rewrite 'accounts' module in eTraxis to make it work with your database instead of eTraxis one. But actually it's not going to work since the accounts datatable is joined quite extensively with other eTraxis datatables, so it will take a lot of changes in the code, will introduce new issues, and I'm sure you will lost in performance. In the same case I should double accounts - it's not a lot of data and definitely not a question of wasting storage space.
A possible solution I have in mind: split the userdata into two tables. One for the basic auth stuff (Name, password, mail... which somehow exists in any userbased application) and one for the eTraxis-specific data (all other). Then you could (easily?) allow the reading of the basic auth stuff from a different database/table... perhaps a little wrapper would be needed to map the fields. Imho this could really increase the "usefullness" of your app as duplicating accounts is imho something really unpopular.
arodygin wrote:Yes, the appearance can be changed completely. The current interface design is made of two files - 'src/css/etraxis.css' and 'src/engine/engine.xsl'. eTraxis generates preliminary XML-pages instead of HTML-ones. After been generated, the XML-page is translated into HTML by 'engine.xsl', which defines what HTML-tags each of used XML tags should be converted to. So, you have to set another HTML-tags sequences in 'engine.xsl' and this is how the interface design can be changed completely. You probably will need to see the 'xml2html' function in 'src/engine/xml.php', which description is available at Function Reference ('Engine' -> 'XML' -> 'xml2html').
Ok... thanks for the headsup. I haven't worked that much with XSL, but I'll take a look.
arodygin wrote:Yes, the unauthorized access is just out of eTraxis vision
Hmhm... what was the reason for this decision? Most of the other bugtrackers I checked (like Mantis) offer simple readonly access for any browsing by. Imho that's usefull so that the average guy can just take a look to see if sth. is already submitted (like feature requests). Hmhm...

---

Thanks for your answers and I'll think about it... Perhaps I'll script me a simple wrapper to integrated eTraxis for the "endusers" into my page. I'll give you more feedback on this once I have realized something... which will not be in the near future as it's a little bit down on my todolist. Too much to do, too less time. :)

Cheers
Matthias

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Artem
eTraxis Support
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Re: New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby Artem » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:57 am

Hi,
althaus wrote:A possible solution I have in mind: split the userdata into two tables. One for the basic auth stuff (Name, password, mail... which somehow exists in any userbased application) and one for the eTraxis-specific data (all other). Then you could (easily?) allow the reading of the basic auth stuff from a different database/table... perhaps a little wrapper would be needed to map the fields. Imho this could really increase the "usefullness" of your app as duplicating accounts is imho something really unpopular.
Well, I also got another thoughts about this. At the moment eTraxis supports LDAP accounts, and if some team already has a LDAP server they can just reuse the same accounts (I know at least two companies, who use their Acrive Directory Windows accounts from the local network server). So, why don't implement "pseudo-LDAP" support, which will consist of templates for several basic functions (like "auth_user", "get_user_email", etc.) and let user to implement these functions to make them work with his alternative existing database. I mean, that eTraxis will have these functions empty by default; anyone, who is interested in, can implement these empty functions to work with any 3rd-party database, and eTraxis will start to use this alternative database like it's just a LDAP server. Sorry, my explanation looks muddled a little bit. :) What do you think about such way to support alternative databases?
althaus wrote:Hmhm... what was the reason for this decision? Most of the other bugtrackers I checked (like Mantis) offer simple readonly access for any browsing by. Imho that's usefull so that the average guy can just take a look to see if sth. is already submitted (like feature requests). Hmhm...
Yes, I think you're right. I don't remember why I designed it this way, :) but I can't see any reason to keep it the same. I will redesign it to make a "guest" access really guest.

Thank you,
Artem
Best regards,
Artem

althaus
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:37 am

Re: New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby althaus » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:22 am

Hmmf... again no notification... I think that's that stupid SF-mailadress. Changed it to a regular address, perhaps I'll get notifications now. :/
arodygin wrote: Well, I also got another thoughts about this. At the moment eTraxis supports LDAP accounts, and if some team already has a LDAP server they can just reuse the same accounts (I know at least two companies, who use their Acrive Directory Windows accounts from the local network server). So, why don't implement "pseudo-LDAP" support, which will consist of templates for several basic functions (like "auth_user", "get_user_email", etc.) and let user to implement these functions to make them work with his alternative existing database. I mean, that eTraxis will have these functions empty by default; anyone, who is interested in, can implement these empty functions to work with any 3rd-party database, and eTraxis will start to use this alternative database like it's just a LDAP server. Sorry, my explanation looks muddled a little bit. :) What do you think about such way to support alternative databases?
That sounds like a good solution. As I already wrote: It's in most cases just a mapping of one database to another one. So if you implement an interface class which holds functions for the data fetching this would deliver an easy possibilty for auth against a seperate database.
arodygin wrote: Yes, I think you're right. I don't remember why I designed it this way, :) but I can't see any reason to keep it the same. I will redesign it to make a "guest" access really guest.
Yeah. At least for community / OS projects this is a must have in my eyes. Perhaps you can make it optional... or differ the roles between "Guest" and "User".

Cheers
Matthias

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Artem
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Re: New to etraxis: feedback, questions and more

Postby Artem » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:51 am

arodygin wrote: Yes, I think you're right. I don't remember why I designed it this way, :) but I can't see any reason to keep it the same. I will redesign it to make a "guest" access really guest.
Hi Matthias,

I'm glad to inform you, that I finally implemented a guest access in new version 1.19.0 which has been released few minutes ago.
You can take a look, and feel free to contact me in case of any questions.

Best regards,
Artem
Best regards,
Artem


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