Forum OpenACS Q&A: Recommend having a place that lists the versions of things that are compatible..

<caption>Working configs</caption>

<tr><td>Aolserver 4.0 beta4</td><td>OpenACS 4.6</td><td>Oracle 8i</td><td>Postgres 7.3</td></tr>
<tr><td>Aolserver 3.0</td><td>OpenACS 3.6</td><td>Oracle 8i</td><td>Postgres 7.2</td></tr>

There is no central place to find out what version of each component is believed to be compatible. I couldn't tell you if AOLserver 4.0 is compatible with anything here and I read these forums pretty regularly. Based on posts I see, there are plenty of people that fall into the trap of using wrong versions (such as old OpenACS not working with newer Postgres etc..

Alfred, I believe Joel is adding something like this to his new documentation.
I've been trying to define the concept of a "Reference Platform," a combination of software versions that has been tested. The idea is that's it's a minimal list - a few combinations that work, not a matrix of all possible working combinations. But I think that's not quite what you meant, so my question to the community is:

How many people want/need to install OpenACS into an existing environment with limited control of the versions of the supporting software (especially Oracle, PostGres, AolServer) and how many install it on new boxes? And how much weight should be given to each approach in the dev/test/doc work we do?

I don't recommend that ALL versions of things be documented, but at least one known working config, preferably the latest. (Please add oracle driver to that list :) .. If forward compatibilty is known to NOT work, that should be indicated. My primary concern is the new user who tries to install OpenACS from CVS onto their RedHat 6.0 and nothing works only to realize that Postgres needed to be updated, or TLS, or that they need to run on Oracle 8i to use the current (and currently changing) oracle driver, when there is an Oracle 10 or 11 or something available on the Oracle site.

I think that simple step will make it easier to write more generic install docs that can just point and say 'whatever version it says there' since the details don't usually change so substantially that the instructions would change between versions.