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Re: Goofy RedHat Problem

On Tue, 6 Jul 2004, Quanah Gibson-Mount wrote:

I think there is an issue being missed here, that could use some addressing.

Just because a distro *comes* with a particular release does not mean you *have* to use that release. Yes, there are pieces in the distro that may have been built to use the system installed OpenLDAP, which can be problematic.

However, when it comes to running a directory service, there is no need to rely on or use the distro release.

For example, I have 2 debian stable systems. One is running as a 2.2 master, and the other as a 2.2 replica. That is accomplished simply by building and installing OpenLDAP 2.2 into /usr/local. I make no use of the distro installed OpenLDAP, and I don't have to worry about conflicts, since the two installations of OpenLDAP on the box are in separate locations.

Sure. And, in fact, I've stuck things like exim and pine versions in from source on Debian before. But the whole point of having a tool like apt in the first place is that you should be able to use it to install software automatically for you, and it's likely that some percentage of users is going to be uncomfortable with installing things from source (that being the segment of the userbase that such tools are trying to reach). Plus there's the support issue which other folks have brought up - if you're paying Redhat Corp some number of medium-to-large size bucks to look at your machine for you when it explodes, you don't want them to shake their heads in disapproval and blame your non-standard OpenLDAP source version (which they will happily do whether it has anything to do with the problem or not). And, of course, you now are allocating extra storage for no good reason, building new things which rely upon outdated libraries (that is, the other packages), instituting two upgrade procedures instead of one to account for your source version, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that the availability of source versions does not remove the obligation of package maintainers to keep things up to date (obviously this particular bit applies less to Debian, since the maintainers are volunteers). And that people should be open to investigating alternate distributions which may be less... mmm...
problematic in general, rather than patching over the problems in existing distributions with source.

John Klein
Database Applications Developer
Information Technology Services - Harvard Law School
Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit