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Re: [DB] Selecting preferred database [was: what about Database?]

On Mon, Jun 10, 2002 at 03:47:10PM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Giuseppe Sacco wrote:

> > Actually when installing an application that for instance uses a DBI or
> > PHPlib interface you have to scan for every database engine installed and
> > then ask the user to select one of them. After choosing the engine you
> > have to select a database instance name and some users/passwords.

> > When you upgrade a database engine you would probably need to stop
> > applications that uses the engine and then restart them.

> > When you want to uninstall applications you could remove the associated
> > database instance. When you remove database engine you could ask the
> > user to migrate to a different engine.

> > I would like to have some infrastructure to support all these operations
> > in a standard way.

> It's not absoloutely standardised, nor perfect most likely, but I seem to
> recall an example in some Debconf documentation to do an almost identical
> thing.  There is also a system to do precisely that in the X servers to
> select which X server to use as the default.  It lists the X servers
> currently installed and asks which one you want to use.  I'd suggest going
> to the debconf docs and, more importantly, the X server config scripts. 
> Write a generalised interface to this sort of hooplah (assuming the debconf
> interface is too clunky - I don't think it is) and get everyone - databases,
> Java programs (ugh), and X server - to use it, and the world will be a
> better place.

My principal objection to this talk of automatically scanning for
available database engines is that it ignores the fact that SQL servers
are *servers*, that is, there's a client-server architecture here which
doesn't require the database engine to be installed on the local host.
In fact, at work we have centralized database servers that we connect to
from a number of other machines, so any configuration tool that lets me
choose from a list of locally-installed database engines is worse than
useless to me.

Rescanning when the database *driver* package is removed might be
acceptable, though.  Otherwise, generalized, reusable debconf code for
handling complex administration tasks would be a good thing, IMHO (so
long as it's written right :).

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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