All the servers under my wing are due for an OS upgrade. Right now they are a hodgepodge of SuSE versions. The oldest versions are 9.1, which are only two years old, but are now unsupported and cannot be automatically patched. According to SuSE, upgrading to a new version is not supported - only a clean install is.
I've played with gentoo and I really like how their ebuild system lets me filter out bullshit like X11 libraries. It also seems the easiest linux solution for automated releases. However, twice now emerge has fux0red my system after an update. Plus, the changelog on the builds usually suck - "bumped to 103AFxz..." for a CVS entry is useless. The whole thing is rather scary so no dice for a production system.
Basically, I've grown very tired of Linux. Too much politics, too many distros, too many loud-mouth fan boys, shitty half-baked man pages ('info' can kiss my ass, RMS), to unstable, highly undisciplined, fragmented, and mainly developed under license I'm philosophically and morally at odds with.
I'm too old for that bullshit. I want boredom. I want an appliance that I can just plug in, turn on, and have it just exist. Give me predictability and security, not a bunch of software equivalents to yellow stickers and oversized exhaust tips.
On Wednesday, after a failed attempted to install Solaris 9. Their package system, at least on that version, SUCKS!!!!!! 500 packages, all installed by default and dependency tracking that consists of "hey, these other packages depend on this - you better write it down to remove them....". Since the only way to talk to the server at this stage was good-old RS232 (no keyboard, mouse or monitor ports...), this process was tedious over a 9600 baud connection.
It doesn't help that sun's website is shrouded in mystery. "Call us!" "Talk to your local sales rep about a support package"... Weird. Guess I'm too small for them; not enterprisy enough.
I only made it to removing packages on page-2 (which is still in the A's) before I decided to screw that. What a mistake it would be to have learn yet another OS when it wouldn't be running on my i386 servers. I've already decided FreeBSD is going to be the gold standard for all the other servers.
So I downloaded the ISO's FreeBSD 6.1-RELEASE ala sparc64. What a breath of fresh air! I've already submitted a patch to fix a broken mod_gzip port and I cannot wait to contribute a few ports of my own for missing CPAN modules.
Now to tinker around with portupgrade and see about creating a standardized build & release process for my own product...
Honestly? As corny as it sounds, the most refreshing part is the switch in licensing. I believe open source software is a strong force that can enrich the lives of not only users, but developers and businesses off all kinds - even those who sell proprietary software. However, those developers & businesses need to feel secure in making contributions to such projects while keeping food on the table selling their warez. It is no surprise that the majority of successful flagship open source packages do not use the so-called "flagship" license the brainwashed cult-members like to push on us.
Interestingly, I am thinking I might give any hypothetical programmers I hire the ability to somehow develop for me while letting them keep the copyright under a BSD'ish license... I mean, if a programmer were to write some fancy log parser or build system for the company, the IP itself doesn't add to the corporate bottom line. In theory, it is no loss to me if they recycle it in future projects of theirs. In return they could incorporate their own private toolbox into the system without fear of loosing their rights. Code like that is kind of like the toolbox a mechanic brings into their shop every day - the shop doesn't own their tools, they do. The idea smells like 1099 contract work though, where the contractor by default maintains the copyright. I'm sure my lawyer will have some interesting things to say about a scheme like that.
Good times... good times.
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