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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Q&A : Does OpenACS Apache work?

Forum OpenACS Q&A: Does OpenACS Apache work?

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Posted by Lester Albury on
I like the idea of one RPM with everything I need to get ACS running,
and with an automated install script. And the downloads show over
1500 for this release compared to over 4500 for 3.2.4 with AOL
Server - this shows great interest from others too.
But, the thread on 'future directions' has some advice not to use
mod_aolserver, and that it is only a marketing ploy. Also the bugs
and fixes pages for this version have no entries? - is that because
nobody is using it after they download it?
I don't need high performance right now, but rather to get going
quickly and painlessly.
Regards ... Lester.
Posted by Glen Stewart on

I spent quite a lot of time trying to get the Apache/PG/OpenACS combo working, and it's apparently not compatible with the Apache/mod_ssl RPM's packaged with Mandrake 7.2, nor the Apache-ssl available elsewhere (which I used under RedHat).

It's a pain to have to learn AOLserver, which I find to be sluggish.  Also, the memory leaks (presumably from TCL) or caching require daily restarts - at least on my system - to reclaim adequate RAM to prevent VM swapping.  In short, I wish the Apache OpenACS had worked and was still being improved.  As it stands now, I'm running both Apache and AOLserver, as well as both MySQL and PostgreSQL.  Yuck!

PHPnuke (www.phpnuke.org) is gaining a lot of functionality that I found attractive in OpenACS.  When it has personal home pages, I'll be ready to move off, and down, to just Apache and MySQL.  Every part of this system will come in Mandrake - nothing to install.

Posted by Talli Somekh on
whoa, glen.  you know where you are? ;)


Posted by Don Baccus on
You're  probably having to restart because of caching.  My OpenACS site generally only comes down for software upgrades.  I've got two sites, actually, on the same server with 256MB RAM.  They each end up using about 40MB RAM for cache when they've been up a few hours.  After that things stabilize.

If memory leaks were significant sites like aol.com would fall over every few  minutes, so keep things in perspective.  When was the last time you heard that aol.com, or digital city or other large aol sites, were down?  Given the general dislike of aol in the geek community, we'd hear of failures just like we're treated to every little outage or problem at one of MicroSofts sites.

If AOLserver seems "sluggish" it is probably because of its memory consumption and the resulting swapping.  Feed it enough RAM and it's anything but sluggish.  I've seen lots of derogatory comments about AOLserver in my day, but I've never heard it called "sluggish" before.

Caching, of course, does have its upside which is why AOLserver's so aggressive about caching things.  It's overly aggressive if you have a  small machine, but heck Fry's has 256MB PC133 ECC memory available for $99 this week.  Caching by both webserver and the database engine is important for web performance, and memory's cheap.

You might also want to read Tim Perdue's article as to why SourceForge  switched from MySQL to PostgreSQL, as he has real experience with both databases under conditions of high load (which is why he switched).

Posted by Jonathan Ellis on
Can you post a link to this Purdue article?  I remember seeing benchmarks a while back, but I must have missed the one where he said, "Postgres is better so we're switching."
Posted by Ryan Campbell on
Can you post a link to this Purdue article?


Posted by James Harris on

Here's an article where he discusses testing Sourceforge on PostgreSQL. At the bottom he also mentions that he is going to be using PostgreSQL features such as foreign keys and transactions, so it sounds like they have already moved over.


Posted by Don Baccus on
SourceForge has been running on a (gulp) pre-beta PG 7.1 for over two months.

He didn't say PG was *better* than MySQL.  He said it scaled much better under load testing, due to having row-level rather than table-level locking.  He also likes the additional functionality, i.e.  referential integrity checkng and stuff like that.  But it was the behavior under load that caused him to switch, the MySQL version was of SourceForge was giving them fits with performance.

Though I personally prefer Postgres to MySQL, the reality is that 90% of the sites using MySQL probably don't get enough traffic and are probably simple enough to not be seriously impacted by the locking issue.  SourceForge serves up highly personalized pages, with that being driven by the database - you know, all those links to your projects and stuff.  Lots and lots of database hits.

Posted by Roberto Mello on
But why run MySQL when PostgreSQL:

1) scales much better,

2) has much more advanced features,

3) is just as easy to manage,

4) makes your life much easier,

5) has no one saying that transactions and ref. integrity are no important and "speed is all that matters"

6) is a true RDBMS?

Posted by Talli Somekh on
<i>PHPnuke (www.phpnuke.org) is gaining a lot of functionality that I found attractive in OpenACS. When it has personal home pages, I'll be ready to move off, and down, to just Apache and MySQL. Every part of this system will come in Mandrake - nothing to install. </i>
Glen, I tried to check out this site to get an idea of alternative packages, but it took so long to download i gave up - twice.  tried in the morning and just now (evening).  I'm not sure why.  It's really slow.
anyway, i guess the argument of PHPnuke/MySQL vs. OpenACS/PG will soon change to PHPNuke/Interbase vs. OpenACS/PG.  When the site finally downloaded, there was a post that there will soon be a port to Interbase, which I think will be great.  More alternatives out there.
Posted by Roberto Mello on
I don't know how and what does PHP-nuke has to do with this thread, but anyways...

Anyone considering MySQL should read Why Not MySQL(http://www.openacs.org/why-not-mysql.html). It needs a bit updating, but most things there are still true.

Actually anyone considering MySQL should learn more about databases in general :)

Posted by Don Baccus on
Oh, I'm not trying to push MySQL, I was just being polite...

It's cool that the PHPnuke people will be supporting InterBase.  Wish they'd support Postgres.  At least they seem to understand that a more  robust backend is something folks might want.