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

Axel Thimm Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
Thu May 31 08:10:43 UTC 2007

On Thu, May 31, 2007 at 09:51:31AM +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le Jeu 31 mai 2007 00:02, Axel Thimm a écrit :
> > On Wed, May 30, 2007 at 10:03:55AM +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> >>
> >> Le Mer 30 mai 2007 09:09, Patrice Dumas a écrit :
> >> > On Mon, May 28, 2007 at 10:14:21PM -0400, seth vidal wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> I call crap on that. I was a single systems person for a bunch of
> >> >> systems for a long time. You keep your sanity by enforcing policy
> >> >> and
> >> >> you can do that by using the tools available to you to simplify
> >> the
> >> >> tasks. You don't need homogeneous hw, you need LARGELY
> >> homogeneous
> >> >> hw.
> >> >> So you limit the processor archs and you try to focus things down
> >> as
> >> >> much as possible.
> >> >
> >> > It isn't necessarily enough. Do you consider a mix of centos4 and
> >> > fedora to be homogeneous?
> >>
> >> Once you have a largely homegeneous hw parc you can deploy
> >> homogenous
> >> sw platform.
> >
> > But the systems may serve different purposes like number crunchers
> > (stable and secure, long-lived and low maintenance components aka
> > RHEL/CentOS/SL) vs desktops (bigger choice, fresher content aka
> > Fedora). Is strongly assume this is Patrice's need for separation.
> Well either they have different purposes and you don't have the
> problem of deploying the same fortran modules on them,

Why not? The scientists develop on their desktop PC, test whether the
code actually gives numbers that make sense for their model, and once
the bits and bolts are in places run the large jobs on the real
rack-mounted X-less number crunchers.

That's the most typical work model of theoretical
physicists. Sometimes the number crunches is cross-institution or even
cross-country. European science networks sharing common access to
large mpp resources are more and more common these days.

> or they don't and the whole argument fails.

It's not a theoretical argument, it's real life.

I've been on both sides of the equation, being a physicist doing
numerics and as an admin catering for others doing so (with even an
overlap of duties). So please believe me that I'm talking about real
situations, not any academic example.

The question is just whether we care or not. From a market share we
should, because if these institutions move further away from
Fedora/RHEL, students that go through this process end up being Linux
consultants and want to deploy what they are familiar with. The
predominance of Debian in German universities leads to more German
Linux consultants doing Debian/Ubuntu later on.
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
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