[OpenAFS] Re: additional OpenAFS 1.6.9 binaries available

Andrew Deason adeason@sinenomine.net
Thu, 26 Jun 2014 08:19:47 -0700

On Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:39:12 -0400
Dave Botsch <botsch@cnf.cornell.edu> wrote:

> IMHO, not offering binaries and telling users to go someplace else is
> not perceived as friendly to the users... UNLESS..

Well, this is what some users have asked for. (Maybe not this
specifically, but complaining about how the current model of RPM
distribution is awkward and AFS-specific.)

It seems to me rather unfriendly and strange on Linux to ask users
to keep going to the upstream website for a piece of software. That
would be infeasible if I had to do that for every piece of software that
I use. OpenAFS is currently a bit of a special case here, and making it
act like all other open/free software would be an improvement.

And yeah, there would/should be a pointer like "RHEL/whatever users get
your binaries from <link>" or "... from <command>". Just like it often
says on various upstreams' "download" page to just "apt-get install foo"
or "yum intall foo".

I think there is an article or something that I saw on some Debian-ish
site explaining the benefits of separating upstream source from
downstream packaging, but I'm not sure where it is.

> Especially if binaries are available for Mac and Windows...

I wish OS X and Windows worked this way, too; the OS X and Windows
binaries are being provided because we cannot do it the other way. (At
least, that's why I am not arguing for it there.)

With Windows, I don't think any such "downstream" exists that is useable
to us. And in general the historical practice/culture on Windows that
end-users are used to is indeed just googling for the software, and
clicking on and installing the first thing that comes up. Which is
satisfied by the current approach.

OS X has a few things like fink, macports, and brew, but that would be
an extra big "thing" you'd have to install, which is pretty terrible to
ask of users. I also don't know if those work with kernel modules at
all, and some have had some questionable robustness in the past. And of
course, there is currently not enough effort put into the OS X packaging
right now to do any such migration.

The other platforms are largely like this, too. Solaris doesn't have an
appropriate downstream: Illumos/oi we could probably do, but that only
helps for Illumos. Relying on OpenCSW means we'd have an extra
pre-requisite that is just not practical at many sites.

AIX I think has some common 3rd-party software repository
that I forget the name of, but I haven't cared enough about AIX recently
to look into it more. I'm not sure if it's useful.

The *BSDs have their ports, and we are using that for FreeBSD. I'm
honestly not sure why we are not relying on that for binaries.

SuSE I think doesn't have a repository for software that they won't
include in openSuSE itself.

Andrew Deason