[OpenAFS] OpenAFS site not geared for beginners...

Rodney M Dyer rmdyer@uncc.edu
Fri, 01 Sep 2006 17:30:34 -0400

I've recently been in a rather elevated conversation with our help desk 
manager about the OpenAFS web site.  Our help desk manager had created 
instructions for our Mosaic customers for installing OpenAFS on their 
laptops and home machines.  The instructions called for going to the 
OpenAFS web site and downloading the "latest" OpenAFS client version and 
installing it using his specified config.  This would be all well and good 
except that the "latest" OpenAFS version is always in flux and some of our 
users, not knowing any better have been picking the developer builds and 
release candidates.  The developer builds and release candidates have not 
been installing and have been having errors when the AFS service started.

Long story short...  It appears that the OpenAFS web site is geared mostly 
to developers and not end users.  It would be nice if there was always a 
guaranteed link to the most stable "production" release right on the front 
page of the web site.  Having multiple versions of OpenAFS available under 
"OpenAFS News" can be confusing for some people.  Even more so, when the 
user chooses "Latest Release" under the left web pane, it chooses to go to 
the beta's and release candidates.  Shouldn't these be listed under 
"Unstable Releases"?

I told our help desk manager to just download the one that we feel is the 
most production and stable copy, put it on our own web site, and point the 
users to our site.  He said that he had done that in the past but the 
version he kept on his site became "out of date" because he rarely got 
around to updating it.  This has been especially problematic in the last 
couple of years since the versions have been increasing so fast.

I'm not trying to be a squeaky wheel here.  I'm just informing everyone as 
to the problems regular users may have with the site.