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Forum OpenACS Development: What versions?

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Posted by G. Armour Van Horn on
I've been wanting to get started with ACS for a long time, but I want
to balance durability of the installation with safety. That is to
say, I don't want to invest time in versions that will soon be out of
date, but I don't want too many arrows in my back from pursuing the
latest alpha code.

So, for a balance of long-life to the system and a reasonable
expectation of getting running in a month or so ...

What Unix distribution? I gather that much of the development is on
Linux, but have heard lots of problems working with RedHat 7. (I also
have had many problems with the latest RPMs not installable on my 6.2
and 6.2 systems.) I am also comfortable with OpenBSD, but have never
been able to get FreeBSD to install.

Should I go with OpenACS 4.x? I despise (and fear) major updates, so
would rather go with 4 and accept some limits short term rather than
work with 3 and suffer great envy as I hear others discussing the
advantages of 4!

I know it's only been out for a couple of days, but what about
PostgreSQL 7.1? Earlier visits here indicated that there were great
advantages for 7.1 over 7.03, particularly with OpenACS 4.

Finally, for getting a few small sites put together, will a K6-500 w/
128 MB be a reasonable machine, or do I need to step up a bit?

Van Van Horn

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2: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
If I had to get a site up in "one or two months" I would go with:
  • RH 6.2 (if you're using RH as I do, many here prefer Debian and they can tell you which version they prefer)
  • PG 7.1
  • AOLserver 3.2 + ad13 You could use ad12 with patches that get rid of some memory leak problems that ad13 will include. We'll be bundling this as a download at opennsd.org when ad13 is released, I hope.
  • OpenACS 3.2.5
  • OpenACS 4.x won't support PG in time for you to get a site up in that timeframe.

    On the other hand, if I planned to get a site up in six months and only expected to take a few weeks implementing it, I'd watch our progress on OpenACS 4.x with an eye towards using it instead of OpenACS 3.2.5.

    Your machine's adequate for a couple of small, low-traffic sites. In order to avoid swapping you might have to turn off fastpath caching and limit the number of webserver threads and PG backends to a small number. And you'd be restricted to using a small PG shared buffer pool.

    You'd be much better off with another 128MB, though. I'm running two sites on my 256MB RAM server and have it configured so it barely avoids swapping (I'm upgrading to 512MB as soon as I can spare an afternoon to visit the colo facility). One of the sites has quite a bit of data, though (over a million rows of bird sighting data) so I've got PG configured to use about 1/3 of memory for its shared buffer pool, so I can keep my DB in RAM. A more traditional community site that's not very active wouldn't need such a large PG shared buffer pool and could support three or four modest sites without any problem, I think.

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3: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Leif Jensen on
Where do we find the patches for AOLserver 3.2 + ad12 you are mentioning?
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4: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Leif Jensen on
And where do we find OpenACS 3.2.5 to check the changes from 3.2.4 ?
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5: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
aol32+ad12 is on arsDigita's site.  3.2.5 will be released very soon, Roberto's still tying up loose ends.  For now you can just pull the latest sources from CVS, they're very close to what will be in 3.2.5.
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6: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Leif Jensen on
Don,
I was asking for the *patches* for the ...+ad12 ;-)
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7: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
Sorry, I misunderstood...

You really don't need them to get underway, in fact most ACS sites (ours or aD's) are running without the patch as the memleak problem was only recently diagnosed.  My own site runs without it, for instance.  You can avoid the leaks by having minthreads=maxthreads in  your .tcl init file if you're concerned, as the leak happens when a thread is killed and in the above case no threads are ever killed, they sit around waiting for new traffic.

Which, BTW, is why the AOLserver folks never ran into it.  They run Digital City etc with minthreads=maxthreads.

So I suggest you just get started with aol32+ad12 and update to ad13 when it becomes available.

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8: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
The memleak fix is included in the latest version of AOLserver, 3.3.1.  I've e-mailed Rob Mayoff to ask about it vs. aol32+ad12 and the upcoming ad13, so hang on to your hats for a bit!
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9: Response to What versions? (response to 1)
Posted by Leif Jensen on
But, I am not wearing a hat ;-).