Re: How Debian Packaging practices could apply to VistA maintenance and distribution
On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 06:49:03PM -0500, Bhaskar, K.S wrote:
> A binary Debian package doesn't make sense: the object files will be
Clarification: All *.deb packages are "binary packages" in terms of
Debian slang. The contrast are "source packages" which are used to
create the "binary package". You always install the binary (*.deb)
packages on your machine and nothing else.
However, if we are talking about the *content* of such a binary package
it can perfectly contain either binary files or source files or a mix of
them - whatever is needed. So if we follow your advise the binary
Debian package will contain VistA source code files to install it at the
places where they will be grabbed by postinst or whatever.
> So, from a size point of view, VistA on the server side will be
> about the size of a pure-server GNU/Linux distribution. It is a
> character mode application. Client applications are completely
OK. No problem with this.
> The complexity of VistA comes from its vertical integration.
> Consider an office suite or a web server. The package is quite
> separate from the content. It's easy to upgrade LibreOffice without
> touching the documents, spreadsheets and presentations created with
> it, or to upgrade Apache without touching the web pages that it
> serves. VistA is not like that.
> In VistA, the code and database are tightly integrated. Even sites
> that use only part of the functionality of VistA invariably install
> all of it, because even if you only want to implement minimal
> functionality (e.g., Admission/Discharge/Transfer), it's almost
> impossible to pull that apart from everything else. Once you start
> configuring a VistA environment (e.g., by defining locations), it
> becomes more integrated. Once you add patients, that's another
> layer of integration.
Hmmm, just to make sure I understood everything correctly let me assume
we want to remove a VistA package at some point in time but keep the
data it created. Dpkg expects to find all those files it has installed
in certain places to remove them (as it has installed them before).
What will now happen to your data. Will these hang around in those
directories which previosely were installed by the packages. While we
can deel with everything somehow this means extra work^Wfun for the
> So, what a VistA Debian package can do is provide the core VistA
> system that can be installed on a computer and from which
> environments can be created on that computer. Existing environments
> cannot be upgraded by installing an updated Debian package. VistA
> has its own package management system (called KIDS) and each
> installed VistA environment on that computer will need to be
> upgraded by applying KIDS packages.
> I hope this is good beginning.
Kind regards and thanks for the clarification