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The Power of Open Source and openSUSE, a story.

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A couple of years ago, I was asked to express my ideas on an on- and offline ticket sales system with customer management etc., automatically feeding the website of an organization. Being a firm open source believer I gave my default answer: "Use open source means, question is not whether that's possible, question is which means to use, then make what's left to do". Briefly: I made them an offer, they accepted, and I suddenly was a sytem+software designer-engineer-programmer. And a database designer-administrator. In here I will call the system MT, to avoid conflict with the T&C.

The first couple of months were spent on investigation -customer demands, technical stuff, what is already out there-, had a lot of talks with people from different fields of work. Since one of the demands was the use of open source means only, and accessibility from all over the world, I decided to go for a webapplication, MySQL for the database, a CMS for content display on the web side, with an integrated webshop's backend to run the webapp as a base to start from. About this: LAMP + CMS + a PHPSHOP derivate. In Languages: MySQL, PHP, HTML, javascript, linux shell-scripts. I created a global, schematic design, which was approved. CMS: Joomla, webshop Virtuemart, which comes as Joomla component/modules/plugins.

I rented a virtual private server, installed Joomla on it, VirtueMart as a component in Joomla, created some separate environments for flexibility and testing, started to edit the hundreds of php files to add comment markers where I would later have to hook in my work. At first I started writing each module from scratch, but after a while I found that it was better to leave Joomla untouched and refurbish Virtuemart's code to MartiniTickets. Bit by bit the environment grew almost a million lines of code, incl. some Joomla modules and components used.

This summer we did the testing, user instructions, added some funtionality, more testing, and now we it's there, but that's not what the title is about . This is:
  • A VPS running headless openSUSE (now 11.3) with
    • LAMP-pattern installed and confiured
    • a MySQL database - Joomla - MT
  • A local server at the customer's. running openSUSE 11.3 with
    • LAMP-pattern installed and confiured
    • Joomla (connecting to MySQL database) - MT
    • three simple shell scripts started by a cron job
  • A client running openSUSE 11.4 with
    • KDE
    • a webbrowser (any will do )
    • one simple shell script started by a cron job
    • a ticket printer
A 100% open source solution. That lives on openSUSE.... Yep, proud, very proud. Of the result, of myself, of openSUSE. This community is what brought this "it can be done, pick your choice"-line in the back of my mind. Which moreover made me change from open source believer to open source know-for-surist. Therefor I want to express my gratitude to all of you. You made me think the way I do and I love it.


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Updated 10-Sep-2011 at 07:12 by Knurpht



  1. jdmcdaniel3's Avatar
    Congratulations Knurpht for your success on this project and for allowing us to hear about this story.

    Thank You,
  2. smithark's Avatar
    congrats Knurpht! let this be an inspiration to all the budding programmers out there to use open source and open suse.