[Date Prev][Date Next] [Chronological] [Thread] [Top]

Re: Goofy RedHat Problem

--On Tuesday, July 06, 2004 2:09 PM -0400 John Klein <zarkon@law.harvard.edu> wrote:

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no good reason, building new things which rely upon outdated libraries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.

Not at all. The systems libraries have not been mucked with, and I would certainly expect RedHat to fully support any *system* issues that arise. I would not expect them to support the *application* issues that could arise from me running OpenLDAP 2.2 as an application on that server. What you're saying is about the same as saying that I should only ever run what gets installed on the system, and never install anything else. That's simply moronic. What if I install oracle? OMG! That might conflict with the MySQL version that came with RedHat. Or what if I install Apache 2?! God forgid! And, worst of all, we install OpenLDAP on our Solaris servers! Not iPlanet! Give me a break. We build, compile, and install hundreds of different pieces of software on a regular basis. I've never had issues with Sun or RedHat in getting support on those systems, even though we've added software to those systems that didn't come with them. As long as you don't muck with the default system installed pieces, they don't care. That's because they understand the difference between "Operating Systems" and "Applications". Tools like "apt" are great when the packages for an installation are maintained, but the sad fact they seldom are. I'm not going to keep my user base in the dark ages because distro's are unable to keep up with the rapid changes in software that occur elsewhere.

You are correct that some people are not comfortable compiling software on their own. If that is the case, then they shouldn't be administrating a directory service, since it will invariable take some capability to download software, install patches, etc. Nothing of what I wrote said to patch over problems in an existing distribution with source. What I said was, if you are going to run an application, and you want to make sure it is up to date, then install it in a separate location from what came with the distribution. You keep your support for the OS, and you get to get your work done.


-- Quanah Gibson-Mount Principal Software Developer ITSS/Shared Services Stanford University GnuPG Public Key: http://www.stanford.edu/~quanah/pgp.html