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Re: help with site+database

Another lister replied as I was writing this and I agree with what he
said also.

    RC> ...  I spent a few days trying to
    RC> track down what was going on (and hack in extra environment
    RC> variables to the scripts etc).  I encountered a number of
    RC> problems including inexplicable failures if I used native
    RC> threads through Java (Green threads worked).

It took me about 4 hours to install the full product on woody back in
March. It wasn't an easy 4 hours and could have been more like 4 days
had I made unlucky choices instead of the lucky ones.  The main
problem is that AFAIR, Oracle expected glibc 2.1 but would not check
for it.  Instead the installer would crash/hang.  I also seem to
remember that they use their own JVM that would loop eating CPU when
it didn't like the libc.  I dug up detailed instructions from some
half-broken on-line Oracle user web board thing (written by a user),
grabbed RedHat's compat package, did some magic I don't remember with
debian's rpm, copied the necessary files into Oracle's own lib/ and a
sccript and things started working.  I don't recommend doing this for
something critical because the process is mostly opaque and though to
document and make repeatable with a reasonable amount of time/effort.

    RC> The Oracle installation software is written by some really
    RC> stupid people.  It has plenty of moving X widgets etc to show
    RC> that the installation is in progress, but in terms of real
    RC> features it is seriously lacking.

Absence of consistency checks, detecting what it needs, detecting
partial installs, checking from the JVM version instead of infinite
looping, etc. all got choice words from me when I tried it.  The
killer is that they do not have a (documented) command line version so
you have to have X to monkey with it if you need to.  I didn't figure
out whether the need for the GUI disappears after the initial install,
but I would be very unhappy if it turned out I needed to have
X+bandwidth available to apply vendor patches and such to a co-lo'ed
production server.  All that hassle so you use a mouse to select from
menus and watch bitmapped progress bars.  Pretty stupid.  I dunno if
the people who wrote it are stupid, but if the target clientele are
scared of non-GUI installs they probably are living in a different
world than I am (euphemism for the s word when I cannot make a bullet
proof case).

    RC> The installation and maintenance of Oracle is a tricky thing.
    RC> Oracle consultants are also very expensive (and generally not
    RC> excessively skillful in my experience).  For these reasons I'd
    RC> recommend Postgres over Oracle for serious applications.

I don't agree with this.  If you have a need and the budget for
Oracle, you most certainly will also be motivated to run it on a 
supported platform.  I'd have put is differently:  make sure Postgres
cannot do what you want before using Oracle for serious apps.


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