Barry Warsaw wrote:
On Jan 3, 2009, at 5:47 PM, Martin v. Löwis wrote:
It's always possible to make exceptions. It's not just about the VCS; there have been requests to replace Apache, NTP, Zope, Postgres, MoinMoin, and a few other packages. There have been many problems on upgrade for the cases where we gave in: shared libraries were missing after the upgrade (for Zope), the software wasn't available anymore after the upgrade (in case of manually-install Python pacakges), and so on. Very few people have actually helped in fixing these problems (applause to AMK for being very helpful with the most recent incidents).
I'd rather have the users annoyed than finding out that the custom setup opened an entrance for hackers.
Maybe this is a false choice. Maybe the problem is standardizing on Debian stable. If that distribution isn't giving us and our users what we need, maybe we need to re-evaluate that choice. Yes I know we've talked about that before and yes I know it would not be easy to switch to something different, but still. If you can't even upgrade svn to 1.5 on Debian stable, then I think you'll find it impossible to switch to any modern DVCS.
I appreciate Martin's conservatism, especially since he usually ends up being the one who has to fill in the gaps when things fall though the cracks. I would never suggest that he went against his instincts about likely pitfalls in installation of non-standard software. I suspect this was the PyCon web server's downfall: a dog's breakfast disguised as a unified installation.
Is it maybe time we thought about hiring a part-time sysadmin to take care of the cruddy stuff that soaks up time without increasing productivity? We have the finds, and if they run out the I'd rather spend my time raising more funds that administering systems ... there are many people who are better at that than I was in my prime!
Hey, isn't Ubuntu Debian-based? ...
Don't we know people who work for the vendor? ...
Maybe they could offer some support if we switched? ...
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