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Use Runtime Revolution to Simplify Linux Solutions

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By Stomfi

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Posted: 27 Aug 2004
 

In my search for tools to help Bill's sheep [Windows users] gain a modicom of success in the Linux world, I've discovered that one can develop purpose-specific psuedocode language to translate home and office type problems into shell script solutions.

The main disadvantage to this approach is that, although the solution is viable, it doesn't fit the point and click actions beloved by Bill's sheep. So I found a better solution, one that allows the development of shell scripts and application windows to perform the pointing and clicking.

Unfortunately, it ain't OSS, unless an innovative and far-seeing company buys it and does the right thing.

My solution is to use Runtime Revolution, an end user script language RAD/IDE, to create the windowing parts, and call the shell scripts to do all the data processing. I use this approach because the strength of Linux is the KISS shell tools, each of which (apart from a few) can be learnt in half a day or less, and can be maintained without being a techno geek.

An example of the simplicity of this approach is in a recent problem I solved for a small business of less than 20 employees, who manufacture gravity die cast aluminium products for the mower industry as well as plastic injection moulding. They wanted to make products for the motor car industry, which involves collecting and analysing reject data. Having few employees, any extra data entry work is a cost penalty which would take time to recover.

So a cost effective solution is to collect the data straight from the operators at the time the reject is created. Some old P1 Linux XFCE WM boxes, a compiled RUNREV raw key collection window, prototype keyboard covers, some shell scripts, an ad hoc wireless network, an NFS server with Gnuplot to create dynamic pareto charts -- problem solved at little cost in a robust and maintainable manner without extra staff.

Since only 10 keys are needed to collect the data, the inhouse technician is developing some low powered inexpensive handheld wireless keypads.

Couldn't have done this without Linux and the shell + RunRev.

For more information about Runtime Revolution visit http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/1863.html


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