Hi Alex, Hi list,

> On January 23, 2012 at 2:02 PM Jon Kleiser <jon.klei...@usit.uio.no> wrote:
> I am trying to brainstorm ways for people (Burger) to make a living

I'm actually trying the same thing (find a way to make a living) as a
late starter in programming with a fresh degree but little practical
experience, and I thought I had quite a good idea that builds on PL.

Due to my limited skills, I often end up struggling with more or less
unrelated technical problems, e.g. my still not completed shift from
Ubuntu to ArchLinux and from Emacs 23 to Emacs 24 kept me away from PL
for weeks now due to all kinds of unexpected problems.  

I still think there could be something like a killer app for picolisp
that gives it real popularity, and that is Open Source ERP: build
something similar (or better) than the popular Python apps
http://www.openerp.com/ or http://www.tryton.org/en/, for example, and
copy the apparently very successfull business-model. 
In this realm, I don't think the medium to small businesses really care
about the language the app is written in, its more about how powerfull
and userfriendly the app is.

My idea was (and is) to combine emacs and picolisp into a really
powerfull but simple to use ERP system. With orgmode, gnus, ledger,
taskjuggler etc emacs already offers most of the funcionality of an ERP
system (the infamous libraries ;), and is used by many freelancers and
programmers as such. Whats missing is a real database (besides bbdb) and
the possibility of interactive web-development, both the core strenght of PL. 

By using the easy communication between PL (or emacs) with R
(statistics) and GRASS GIS the ERP system could be adapted to advanced
tasks (maybe its USP?). 

I would say, most of the needed functionality is already there, its all
communication between lisps (elisp and picolisp) facilitated by the
existance of the orgmode library ob-picolisp. What is needed is a UI
taking advantage of emacs as a client and picolisp as a webinterface. 

This could be started as a community project, enabling the contributers
to offer the system as local installation or as a cloud app. 

I was a bit shocked to hear that somebody so skilled like Alex has
difficulties to make a living based on PL - then what about me, a
struggling beginner?

On the other hand, I would be glad to share my business-idea and make it
a team-project, since I think the open source ERP market is relatively
new, offers great promise, and the most popular competitor OpenERP was
extremely buggy until recently and still had quite a lot of success. I would
guess that the big and dynamic orgmode community would take some
interest into such a project too. 

Just my 2 cents ;)

Cheers
Thorsten





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