Forum OpenACS Development: Re: OACS 6 and beyond

33: Re: OACS 6 and beyond (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
Well, since Dave asked this question:

"Don Baccus has pretty much been doing all the Oracle testing on his personal server, and I'll let him explain more about how that affects the future of Oracle support if he wants to."

Last spring in Madrid, when asked to give a talk, I essentially said "if the Oracle folks don't provide support for Oracle, Oracle will at some point be dropped".

I also said "I'm not going to be the primary maintainer for the Oracle version of OpenACS core for free forever".

Everybody screams as to how much pain it will cause them.

Nobody offers funding ...

Oh, Simon, it's not the "hobbyists" who want to drop Oracle support. It's those of us making our living doing OpenACS work. We're the ones either supporting it for free (me) or ignoring it altogether (Malte).

Now if we DO continue to support Oracle, I would agree that core and important packages must continue to support Oracle. Malte made a more-or-less unilateral decision to stop doing so. How do we stop him from doing so? How do you force him to support Oracle FOR FREE?

Posted by Simon at TCB on

I understand where you're coming from, but (at the risk of repeating myself), I'm not sure I see the 'free' aspect in this.

That makes Oracle sound like an optional add-on. Or that by supporting Oracle a submitter is 'doing everyone a favour'.

My point is simply that the dual database functionality has been part of the OpenACS for years. Everyone who submits is aware of that. Its part of what OpenACS is. Therefore if you submit code that doesn't support Oracle you are only partially delivering OpenACS code. For me, not submitting the Oracle code is *exactly* the same as submitting code that has a bug in it. Expecting the oracle community to fix bugs that one has knowingly introduced is simply not practical. If the numbers of PG users outnumber the Oracle users 10-1, how on earth would they be expected to keep up anyway?

I accept it means more work than supporting one database, but I don't see how you can get away from that. (and support 2 databases)

To my mind it is a simple choice, you either accept that Oracle code is part of delivery, or you accept that it is not part of what OpenACS does. (and the decision appears to have already been made)

I have already outlined in previous postings how this should be addressed. Any submitter should have to provide both database versions. This would prevent the obviously unsustainable situation where one individual (i.e you) is having to do all the work. If they don't want to provide both then the core should not be polluted by the submission. To do otherwise is not in the spirit of community and thus should be managed separately.
(this is why I draw the distinction between packages and the core)

Do you not agree with this approach? Are you all convinced that this cannot work?

Also, if you are the primary maintainer i.e. it is being covered by one person, then surely if that effort were divided amongst all contributers as I have outlined, then it would not be such a burden to any one individual.

But I have no real axe to grind (especially not with you, I have benefited from your efforts over the years and am grateful for that).

I personally think dropping oracle is a big mistake. But if thats the concensus so be it. I've had (quite a big rant) and am happy to accept the decision if nothing I say has had any impact. (gotta try ain't I)

On a final note, can I repeat my disappointment that this community has become contributor-oriented. The idea that simple users have less of a say or are of less value does not sit well with me.

I use Linux, but I don't contribute.
I use Apache, but I don't contribute.
I use TCL, but I don't contribute.

I'm sure thats also true of contributors here. Should those communities not serve their needs? Without users and adopters then OpenACS is simply a personal project.

Thanks for listening, and I suspect its goodbye :(