2 depend or not 2 depend

Bruce Richardson itsbruce at workshy.org
Mon Feb 8 10:01:24 GMT 2010

On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 11:39:00PM -0500, Matt Sergeant wrote:
> Nicholas Clark wrote:
>> It does if you have a second machine to test on.
>> It doesn't if you have a shared development server, and the installed packages
>> are common to all developers.
> Then the owners of those boxes need to learn about xen. And fast.

Xen isn't necessarily the answer to that problem.  There are pros and
cons to a shared development server but the constraints which might
force a company to use one may well also make Xen impractical; if you
have limited resources, Xen is often not the most efficient use of them.

A build system with good dependency management, on the other hand, will
work on a shared build server, the developers own laptop and the sacred
place where the official production builds are done.

In any case, I prefer to keep applications and their dependencies away
from the Linux distribution's package system, if we're deploying on
Linux, because a) I find it useful to maintain a clean separation
between host management and application management (they have different
lifecycles, rates of change etc), b) it makes the builds more portable
and c) it avoids clashes with the distribution's own packages.  If you
have packaged module Foo version X one way, they'll have packaged it
version Y and another way and something you do want on the host (e.g.
Nagios) will depend on their version; fighting that can just lead to a
cascading maintenance nightmare.


A problem shared brings the consolation that someone else is now
feeling as miserable as you.

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