[LON-CAPA-admin] Re: LON-CAPA and RedHat Support

Martin Siegert siegert at sfu.ca
Wed Nov 5 15:07:30 EST 2003

On Wed, Nov 05, 2003 at 01:29:37PM -0500, Peter Kovac wrote:
>    The discussion of what distribution to support is great and all but 
> why is LON-CAPA limiting itself to one distribution over another?  This 
> is, in my opinion, one of the greatest failings of this project.  L-C 
> offers a wonderful platform-independance on the client side but 
> restricts the server to one outdated version of one flavor an OS with 
> dozens and dozens of (free) options.  Certainly many people have their 
> own preferences and superstitions but it might help wider-spread 
> adoption to be able to tell a boss/manager/dean/director that 'sure we 
> can use your favorite UNIX' be it Solaris, *BSD, Gentoo...

I could not agree more.
What really is needed is getting away from ./UPDATE and switching to
a standard "configure", "make", "make install". As soon as that is
done it is trivial to create a .src.rpm and from it you then can
build rpms for whatever platform you want. It should be equally simple
to create .deb packages (although I know little about that).

Also it is usually not too difficult to convert a SuSE src.rpm into
a RedHat (or Fedora as it will be called in the future) .src.rpm.

However, this requires time and manpower (e.g., what you need to do
is clean up the LON-CAPA-systemperl mess - how many of you know that it
contains files like


that have absolutely nothing to do with perl, conflict with the gd
and gd-devel rpms and make every self-respecting sysadmin flinch).

The important question is what is more important to LON-CAPA users:
Having a better installation mechanism or get LON-CAPA features 
extended, improved, bugs fixed, etc. Given the limited manpower
at MSU (which I believe is already strained to the limit) the community
must decide what is more important - you cannot have both, unless the
community starts contributing itself.

Just my $0.02


Martin Siegert
Manager, Research Services
WestGrid Site Manager
Academic Computing Services                        phone: (604) 291-4691
Simon Fraser University                            fax:   (604) 291-4242
Burnaby, British Columbia                          email: siegert at sfu.ca
Canada  V5A 1S6

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