[Fedora-packaging] Re: paragraph on shipping static numerical libs

Axel Thimm Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
Mon May 28 21:32:49 UTC 2007

On Mon, May 28, 2007 at 05:22:48PM -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Axel Thimm (Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net) said: 
> > And I only mentioned that the Linux part is homogeneous. Ever wondered
> > why the majority of Unix admins that have skills in managing
> > heterogeneous Unix system have a physicist's background? It is far
> > more important to have a good mips/$ and some scientists on salary,
> > than to spend all budget for the IT staff's system management.
> If you are spending all the budget for IT staff to do system management,
> you're doing it wrong; there's no reason that systems management should
> be on the par you're talking about. There are places that run hundreds
> to thousands of machines with a single administrator. Honestly? It sounds
> like a vicious cycle of "we don't think we have the time to set up
> a consistent platform, so we don't, so we have to spend too much time
> managing it, so we don't have the time to set up a new platform..."

And how did that single admin get 1000 systems that are obviously
similar enough to be managed by a single person? Maybe because the
budget allowed to buy a rather homegeneous pile of hardware?

You have large hardware histories in large institutions, partly due to
vendor availability at a given time. It's not a school, where you can
throw out a couple hundred 500$ PC and replace them with the same
every 2-3 years, so you can keep a sane hardware status.

> > > If you want consistent results, run a consistent platform.
> > 
> > So you outrule Fedora? Because consistent means even more than a
> > stable API/ABI, RHEL comes close to that, but switching to RHEL
> > because a distro does not want to offer static libs is not reason
> > enough, especially in light of development of key components like
> > gfortran that is reflected in RHEL only a couple years after it makes
> > it into the non-enterprise platforms.
> RHEL doesn't even *ship* this scientific stuff, for a large part.

It's not about shipping scientific applications but allowing the base
OS to build/use them on your own.

> All I'm saying is that we shouldn't continue to support this sort of
> fundamentally-unsupportable setup ad nauseam - it's time to think about
> how to solve this in a sane manner, rather than continuing to paper
> over the problem. I don't see how, at a minium, moving the static
> libraries to -static packages changes things - if, as you say, everyone
> just chucks libraries manually in /usr/local, then how is this making
> anything worse for them?

No problem at all with moving away static libs into their subpackage!
But the thread went on to claim that static libs are not useful in
general, and some people including myself just showed the typical use
cases where it makes very much sense to have static libs around.
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
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