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Re: Web applications

hi guys,

On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 09:31:18PM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > Christian Hammer's package mysql-server (>= 4.0.20-8) now features a
> > debian-sys-maint super user which can setup mysql users and databases.
> But only if you're setting up the DB on the local machine, presumably. 
> Which, if you want to be proper about it, isn't necessarily a good idea.

also, that makes the assumption that the local database server is
mysql, and not pgsql or something else...

> For this, I've envisaged some sort of ODBC-alike registry of available
> database engines (which is why it's not ODBC) where we have the
> configuration for each DB server available to the machine, and when a
> package is installed, a list of the available database servers comes up and
> asks "where do you want this?".  If there's only one (as there would be by
> default if you've installed a local {postgresql,mysql}-server) then the
> question can be skipped and everyone's happy.

i think having something like a dh_installdb script for package
maintainers would be ideal.  the trouble is i'm sure some of these
webapps use database-specific extensions, and someone would have to
put code into the script to figure that out.  or perhaps we could have
dh_installmysql, dh_installpgsql, et c.?

also, if none are found, it could ask for the remote server, or perhaps
by default include "remote server" in the debconf prompt.

> > The apache question. I've mailed already to debian-apache [2] with no
> > reply. Perhaps we can discuss Web Applications right here on
> > debian-devel? I would like to eventually see a policy of how they should
> > be deployed in Debian. Then the apache include question can be avoided.
> The apache include question is, AFAICT, basically solved.  Drop a symlink
> in /etc/apache/conf.d and let $DEITY sort them out.  

i think their preferred method is to use the "modules-config" (or
whatever they've renamed it to) which is designed to work with the many
incarnations of the apache server config setup.  wwwconfig-common
is a parallel method which behaves differently, but Ola is fairly
responsive in my experience and could probably be convinced to rework the
guts so that people currently using that system would be transparently
brought along, assuming we could come to some working conclusion.

> > My timing is pretty bad. I should bring this up again post-release.
> Probably.  But what the hell.  We're talking about it now.

yeah, it'd be insane to try and cram this into sarge, but there's never
a bad time to start discussing it!

On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 02:57:31PM +0200, Isaac Clerencia wrote:
> On Thursday 19 August 2004 14:48, Kai Hendry wrote:
> > Urgh, questions. The user has to tell what apache they're using!? Are
> > you running apache, apache2, or apache-ssl? This sort of question must
> > be avoided.
> How can that question be avoided? You can have several of that apache's 
> installed. Choose a random one? :P

if there are multiple httpd providing packages installed, i'd prompt
the user.  if there's only one, i think it'd be safe to default to
using it.

On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 05:02:10PM +0300, Kai Hendry wrote:
> Btw I found nothing in the fhs about web stuff.
> Web apps should not be dependent on apache, but just httpd.

well, there's the /srv directory, but it doesn't go into a lot of

On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 03:14:30PM +0200, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> I guess there are plenty other questions, sean listed quite a lot of them 
> (but not all of them I believe). maybe we should just make a good list of 
> them, sort them between db engines questions, web apps questions, http 
> server questions, etc ... and then write a policy for each sort of 
> problem, should we ?

that sounds like a great plan.  we should also try and solicit more
input from the maintainers of these various packages (web servers,
database engines, and web apps) before solidifying on anything.

On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 04:57:51PM +0300, Kai Hendry wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 03:48:02PM +0300, Kai Hendry wrote:
> > Mysql on a remote machine sounds less proper to me. :) But good point.
> > This problem needs to be solved.
> How about a mysql virtual package for a debian package to depend on
> whereby if a mysql-server at al is not installed a dialogue (questions!)
> are posed to the administrator.

i think in general packages generating and installing other packages
isn't that graceful of an idea.   something that would have more or
less the same result could be:

- Suggests: database-server (new virtual package?)
- in the maintainer script, if no db server is installed, prompt for
  a remote server, with the addendum "if you don't have a database
  server, stop now and install one".  if multiple database servers
  are installed, prompt for which one to use.

> These questions are simply informing the system where the mysql server
> is and it's debian-sys-maint super user details. This is for for
> dependent packages to use with the minimum of fuss.
> With ODBC in mind, I don't think we should waste time abstracting for
> other DBMSs for the moment.

i don't see why we shouldn't keep it in mind at least when designing
the outward interface.  it'd be about the same amount of code,
underneath, and could save headaches later on.



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