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

On Mon, Apr 10, 2000 at 07:01:04PM +0200, Phil Pennock wrote:
> Typing away merrily, cfm@maine.com produced the immortal words:
> > You **need** clients to complain loudly when something breaks; otherwise
> > how will you know?  As for the lawyers, you'll hear from them 
> > if you upgrade or if you fail to upgrade.  ;^)  We've just found
> > it easier to maintain consistent upgrades as a matter of **policy**.
> We found with experience that this doesn't scale all that well.  Mind,
> I work for a reasonably large ISP.
> When you have large corporate customers who make money from their sites,
> they can be _very_ reluctant to make changes.  Policy be damned if it's
> not utterly and clearly specified in the contract and your customers
> lose a few cents.  :^(
> Result: despite trying to ensure /bin/perl5.003_03 etc, the fact that
> we'd previously had /bin/perl as perl4 means that we had to give in and
> put it back as just that.  Unfortunately, this means that customers who
> don't read the docs and just type /bin/perl get perl4.  :^(  Legacy
> support is a problem, and a large one, which applies to more than just
> web-sites.  This is part of what support-departments are for, though -
> pointing out to customers the stuff which is already documented clearly.
> *coughs*
> I tried suggesting a phase-out policy for the contracts.  I don't think
> our contracts have that, unfortunately.  Certainly not the oldest ones,
> who are the ones most likely to be using perl4, etc.
> Hrm .. time to talk to the boss about having another go at phasing out
> perl4 on the servers ...

So perl is perl4.  That creates problems for users typing in perl and
expecting it to work.  At a certain point it is simply cheaper for you
to bite the bullet and upgrade them for free, no?  Because you are starting
to twist everything else too.  And then when you do that free upgrade
all of a sudden you own everything else that goes wrong too, even if
you made **less** go wrong.  Been there - we start year 7 on May 1.  :-)

I think you are on right track with phase-out policy.  It really is
a business service issue and needs to be addressed that way.  What 
do you provide, etc....


Christopher F. Miller, Publisher                             cfm@maine.com
MaineStreet Communications, Inc         208 Portland Road, Gray, ME  04039
1.207.657.5078                                       http://www.maine.com/
Database publishing, e-commerce, office/internet integration, Debian linux.

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