system autodeath

Horst H. von Brand vonbrand at
Thu Aug 21 21:54:58 UTC 2008

Seth Vidal <skvidal at> wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-08-21 at 10:01 -0500, Jima wrote:
> > Horst H. von Brand wrote:
> > > Also, some people I know stick to old versions for (closed source or
> > > inhouse developed) software that is hard/impossible to port forward, or
> > > just random inconsistencies between versions (automount troubles between
> > > CentOS 5, CentOS 4, Fedora 8 and 9 here were a recent example; we are
> > > working on open source related to the ALMA radioastronomy observatory,
> > > there they are still running ancient Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions due
> > > to software written in "C++" as understood by old GCC, newer GCCs just barf
> > > at the code and rewriting/retesting that huge mess is a titanic job just
> > > now really underway).
> > > 
> > > On philosophical grounds, I'm against forcing people forward, even for
> > > their own good...  /encouraging/ them forward is a much better idea.
> > 
> >   Well, forcing people forward would be making the autodeath package (or 
> > whatnot) not removable.  Even if it were installed by default (which 
> > would surprise me, admittedly), one could always remove or disable it.
> Let's be very clear, In my original suggestion I said I would NOT
> recommend installing this package by default.
> that's not w/ a capital no. :)

OK, understood. But it gives out free rope for later hanging... i.e., I go
ahead and install shiny new Fedora 11 + autodeath (cool new feature, "I'll
never paint myself into a corner" are famous last words, and all that), and
forget about it... some 2 years later, the machine has acquired barnacles
in form of un-forward-portable stuff, Fedora 13 shows up and the system
kills itself.

If anything, do a nag screen when EOL nears, offer to set up for upgrade,
show (current) pointers to scripts helping check if 3rd party stuff will
still work, ... install /that/ by default, allow to disable/uninstall it
(even while it is nagging).
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616
Departamento de Informatica                    Fono: +56 32 2654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria             +56 32 2654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile 2340000       Fax:  +56 32 2797513

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