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Re: it's safe to run a web hosting server with the unstable distributions ?

Typing away merrily, John Haggerty produced the immortal words:
> I think that would work quite well. Just make sure to upgrade the system
> regularly. That will keep you abreast of all the problems and allow for a
> nice system.

Customers can complain quite loudly when something which used to work
has suddenly stopped working because of an upgrade.

How likely are your customers to have lawyers?

Another approach is to go for something stable, specify perl versions
with an embedded version number (watch out for the libperl linking) and
put something in the customer contract about being allowed to make
changes which break their scripts if there are security reasons for
doing so - this allows you to patch your system or temporarily disable
certain functionality.

If you have, eg, /bin/perl5.005_03 etc within the customer-facing root
and maintain those properly, you can introduce new versions and allow
the customers to manage the migration themselves; if you want to be able
to retire older versions which are broken, make sure that the customer
is aware of this fact and that they agree to a time-limit for phasing
out older versions (contracts time again).

Of course, if you're dealing with smaller customers on a more informal
basis, where they're more likely to rely on you for direct technical
assistance with scripting and stuff, then you're much less likely to
need to bother with this in contracts (IANAL, please don't not use a
contract on the basis of this paragraph).

Larger ISPs sometimes have customers who _seem_ hostile to the ISP and
like to carp a lot, even with no real justification.  Although when
something which did work stops working and the customer starts losing
revenue because of this, they do have a point.  Try to make the customer
environment as stable as possible if there's money involved in the

You could always have two types of web-service.  One with a server which
is stable in the way I describe, one which is a current OS, regularly
upgraded and which has latest-and-greatest, but the customer assumes
some responsibility for changing their scripts appropriately.

All this IMnsHO.  HAND.
HTML email - just say no --> Phil Pennock
"We've got a patent on the conquering of a country through the use of force.
 We believe in world peace through extortionate license fees."  -Bluemeat

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