This is part two in a series exploring how Tryton might fair as the heavy-lifting portion of an e-commerce package. This part discusses some of my experiences with members of the Tryton community.
The whole series, at least as planned:
The Tryton community
My first experience with Tryton was two years ago, when we were evaluating open source ERP packages for a business systems integration project. I came, I saw, and I moved on to OpenERP, which offered more features and centralized commercial support. Now that we have considerably more experience with OpenERP, I’ve come back for a closer look at Tryton.
I started with the community, and I suspect that is a very valid approach. I’m looking for a long term relationship. I wanted to meet the family. So naturally I hid behind some bushes and watched them for a month or so. Some of the things I noticed:
- They don’t bicker very much. Like, hardly at all. Most of the communication I’ve seen is in non-native English, and they speak carefully so as not to be misunderstood.
- Mostly they are proactive, identifying potential problems and solutions before people become invested in various outcomes.
- They air their laundry (bugs, issues, etc) as well as most open source projects. It seems they don’t have as much laundry to air, though.
The Tryton family has some key members. I’ve identified some of them from looking at the services page on the website, some from the Google groups for Tryton and Tryton-dev, and some on IRC. Many of these people I also recognized from the OpenERP community, as there’s considerable overlap. I’m reluctant to point names and name fingers (with a nod to Jack Sparrow) as I’m far too likely to miss someone’s most excellent contribution, and that would be an unfortunate oversight. Kudos and gratitude to everyone who has worked on Tryton. Despite my reluctance, I still want to point out a few people.
There is no doubt a reason why the Tryton.org website looks so much like B2CK Software Development’s website. I’ve read hundreds of emails on the mailing lists from Cédric Krier, Nicolas Évrard, and others in this company. Clearly these are key people in Tryton development and I cannot say enough nice things. Cédric is a programming god: targeted, responsive, attentive, and sharp. I greatly enjoyed the night Udo Spallek recommended two accessibility improvements to the Tryton GUI and Cédric replied 52 minutes later with the one word “Done”.
I already had a healthy respect (perhaps even a geek-crush) on Sharoon Thomas, CEO of Openlabs in the UK and India. Sharoon and Openlabs have written about using Tryton as a Python module in Django, integrated UPS international shipping with OpenERP, and built Callisto e-commerce for OpenERP as well as Nereid for Tryton. Sharoon has clearly already considered the question of Tryton and e-commerce, as indicated in his email list discussion on building a Magento Connector for Tryton. (My favorite part: “An integration with Magento does not add 'The best e-commerce possibility for Tryton' but does make 'A great ERP backend for Magento'.")
Again I want to add, there are others. I can just barely read French, German, and Spanish, and do not know the developers who spend most of their time in these channels. Even among the participants in the English language forums, I’m not representing everyone here, but I do wish to include them in my appreciation.
What else is there?
- Part 1: About Tryton. An overview of Tryton – architecture, business model, features, license.
- Part 2: Stalking the Tryton community. There are some impressive people working on this project. I’m pleased to get to know them.
- Part 3: The crux of the matter. Tryton needs a web framework so we don't have to do things twice.
If I’ve inspired a response from you (probably the type of response that deserves an apology), mention @version2beta on Twitter and I’ll see it there. Or, if you can’t comment in less than 126 characters (my handle takes 14 characters with a space), blog about it and tweet that.
Tryton has a relatively active IRC channel as well. At least, I generally find helpful people willing to engage in discussion when I visit, and sometimes I camp out there a while. Please note the link is an IRC link, so it will attempt to launch your IRC client. ↩
We ended up buying Openlabs' UPS module for OpenERP. We were fortunate enough to pay the last of the shared development funding for the module, so with our payment, the module was released as open source. You can fork Openlabs' UPS module on GitHub. ↩
Sharoon's full quote from the mailing list is this: "In short I feel that both the connector to magento and integrated e-commerce solution addresses totally different requirements. An integration with magento does not add 'The best e-commerce possibility for Tryton' but does make 'A great ERP backend for magento'. Feel free to ask any of the questions you may have. I am also available on the IRC if you want to talk about this." ↩
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