[rescue] Re: [geeks] THIS. MAKES. ME. SICK.

Devin L. Ganger rescue at sunhelp.org
Fri Jun 15 14:23:46 CDT 2001

On Fri, Jun 15, 2001 at 01:53:50PM -0500, amy wrote:
> "Devin L. Ganger" wrote: 
> > > my cuisinart toaster probably has more scalability than linux ;) 
> > To be fair to them, they *are* working on it.  It's just that there's a
> > lot of other pieces in the kernel they really need to redo from the
> > ground up, and they don't seem to be willing to do that.
> it's cheaper to recycle/support the old kernel than it is to pay people 
> to take the time to write a newer one. thats just a straight-out business
> decision, unfortunately.

Agreed -- except that, as other folks have noted, there has been a noted
tendency to disagree with many proposed changes on what seems to be a
non-professional basis, up to and including a seeming denial that there
are flaws in existing code or designs that prevent Linux from working
better than it does.
> no, but you seemed to put the emphasis on software problems as opposed to
> hardware failures. i can see a need for a support contract on a large
> machine (or even a small one) in a critical environment in case of 
> hardware failure. there's no argument there, parts are necessary things.
> i'm only mildly ranting on you saying that fbsd wasnt quickly supported,
> which is completely untrue from my experience.

There's a large difference between formal support wherein there is
contractual obligation to devote resources to fix the problem and the ad
hoc (but very high quality) support that one finds from forums such as
you mentioned.

When I'm providing administration for a HA system, I *have to know* that
if I have a problem, I *will* get escalated after a certain amount of
time, and that resources *will* be given to me until my problem is
fixed.  Unofficial channels, peopled by fans, often give higher-quality
advice, but I have no recourse if someone there *doesn't* know the
answer or doesn't have the time to get to my problem.  With a support
contract and service-level agreements, I have an escalation path that
will sooner or later get me face-to-face (or headset-to-headset) with a
developer, if that's what it takes to solve the problem.

> again, i'm not talking hardware support contracts. i'm questioning 
> anyone's desire for a software safety net. it just seems to me is
> gives the admins a crutch with which to lean on, yet they dont seem to
> learn beyond calling a 1-800 number what to do in case of an emergency.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Support contracts provide
certain advantages, even with software, that you can't get anywhere
else.  Does the smart admin use a support contract only?  Hell, no.  The
previous contractor in this position made a habit of calling Sun Support
anytime something blew up, and as such, she didn't really know what she
was doing or how to fix things -- and when they gave her bad advice that
was going to waste time, she didn't know how to discriminate that out.
I'm constantly looking at Internet-available resources -- web pages,
newsgroups, mailing lists.  I've set up an internal web server with all
sorts of archived material, as well as external links.  I'm training the
junior admin to look things over; as such, we solve most problems
without ever needing to pick up the phone.  But we've also identified a
threshhold at which we *will* initiate that call and have Sun Support be
*another* of the many resources we use to fix things.

Devin L. Ganger <devin at thecabal.org>
find / -name *base* -exec chown us:us {} \;
su -c someone 'export UP_US=thebomb'
for f in great justice ; do sed -e 's/zig//g' < $f ; done

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