[OpenIndiana-discuss] Namespace management and symlinks in /usr
pulaskite at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 17 18:33:55 UTC 2012
--- On Wed, 10/17/12, Udo Grabowski (IMK) <udo.grabowski at kit.edu> wrote:
> When you have a big bunch of users and tell them "Hey,
> we upgrade, and then you can't work for a while because
> scripts and programs will surely break (esp. those of
> no longer in the institute), so you have to interrupt and
> fix your stuff NOW !", you will surely find a job
> the next week for a new system administrator on your
> What you are proposing is maybe ok for small systems with
> administrator and a few users max., but not for large
> A typical upgrade in our server farm lasts about 3 month or
> and such unnecessary additional distractions will make such
> upgrade even more unpleasant, as program compatibility is
> in science to have reproducable results (and nobody working
> does have time for such additional hassles totally unrelated
> what they are paid for), and interruptions in the
> chain are not tolerated at all. We put a lot hard work into
> new system before upgrading to make it 100% compatible.
> The adaption of programs to new environments always happens
> gradually and evolutionary after the upgrade, with some
> pressure from the administrator, but not in one go by
> into everyones face crying "Wake up, upgrade time !"....
I'm a geoscientist and have spent most of my career working for "big oil" as in majors and super majors. Those certainly qualify as "large sites" and are a lot bigger than any academic institute I know of. So I'm acutely aware of the issues and what things work and what things don't.
A site administrator's job is to protect the user community from disruptive changes. However, that does not entitle any site administrator to push bandaids onto the larger user community. It is the profligate use of bandaids to which I'm objecting.
I have seen namespace pollution by symlinks become toxic. It's very hard to fix once that happens.
There are cleaner, simpler ways to address the problem than creating 15000+ symlinks. However, it does require recognizing that other solutions exist.
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