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Grover: Fedora for short-lifespan server instances

Grover: Fedora for short-lifespan server instances

Posted Jun 6, 2013 0:46 UTC (Thu) by vonbrand (guest, #4458)
In reply to: Grover: Fedora for short-lifespan server instances by drag
Parent article: Grover: Fedora for short-lifespan server instances

Sorry, but there is even more madness in this. The big advantage of a distribution is that is offers a set of stable, working together, tested packages. The stuff I have installed here is the same as the one reporting a bug is running, what fails here will fail elsewhere (and hopefully eventually get fixed). Running random "latest"(or whatever other version someone wants for assorted reasons) together makes for a totally unmaintainable system (except for whoever put it together, and we all know how much time we can spare for keeping up).

As said, applications are very often binary blobs (or near enough) that have all sort of insidious dependencies. Can't begin testing if it will come crashing down if some ostensibly totally unrelated library API is changed, sorry. So you keep what is running, and want to pay the price of perhaps having to redo literally years of tweaking as unfrequently as possible.


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Grover: Fedora for short-lifespan server instances

Posted Jun 7, 2013 20:08 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> The big advantage of a distribution is that is offers a set of stable, working together, tested packages.

Which you often can't use. Realities in your applications dictate versions of libraries. Just because Fedora supports a certain version of something has zero bearing on whether or not you can use it in your application.

> The stuff I have installed here is the same as the one reporting a bug is running, what fails here will fail elsewhere (and hopefully eventually get fixed).

No it's not. Because Fedora is not the developer of either the application nor the library it ships. If you have a bug with a particular version of something it's going to be a bug that you will have to engage with the developers to fix. Sometimes developers are also package maintainers, sometimes they are not, it's hit or miss.

> Running random "latest"(or whatever other version someone wants for assorted reasons) together makes for a totally unmaintainable system (except for whoever put it together, and we all know how much time we can spare for keeping up).

Sorry, this is so much bullshit. When you develop applications for server purposes or for a particular business reason you have to have your own ability to do QA. You have to be able to maintain your own software and a huge part of that is maintaining the environment your applications depend on.

Right now Fedora packages arbitrary versions of packages which may or may not match what you need to have. It provides little to no mechanism to make it easy to manage anything that is not automatically built by Fedora's system.

This is why 'Enterprise' distros don't change often. The people that use them need to able to maintain specific application stacks and relationships between applications. Fedora and other distros update their versions of packages based on their own time lines and their own needs without consideration of what you may need or want.

This is not a fault of Fedora. It's a fault of the 'distribution' concept that says that everybody has to be built and refreshed every six months or ever release or whatever. Users may not desire or need or be able to use the version of X software or library that is built when Fedora decides to do a change freeze.

If Fedora wants people to be able to do effortless upgrades for the 'cloud' or whatever they will have to make it easy for end users to manage arbitrary versions of software and libraries that the users need, not what is convenient or makes sense for the Fedora project.

Yes this is hard. This is why nobody does this. And is why people can't use Fedora in place of a distribution like Redhat or CentOS that will remain relatively static for 5 years or more. It is also why packaging Ruby or whatever other vertical application stack with Fedora isn't going to make any difference in this regard.


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