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Re: Radmind vs CFengine

From: Chip Seraphine
Subject: Re: Radmind vs CFengine
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:11:19 -0600
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That's a concern.  Allow me to voice my crackpot theory on this:  

Cfengine, unlike perl or python or other "real" scripting languages, does not 
lend itself well to writing code that is "far above the metal".  When I look 
at my cfengine scripts, I see things that simply cannot be easily made to run 
in another environment.

As an example:  If I was writing a perl utility to edit a config file, I would 
expend a lot of work seperating my data from the machinery.  In cfengine, the 
cfagent *is* the machinery, and in a very real sense the cfagent.conf *is* 
the data.  So you end up with actual lines and words mixed in with your 
procedure, so that your script becomes very localized.

Situations where this is not the case (e.g. adding a line to /etc/services) 
tend to be so easy in cfengine that nobody needs to download third-party code 
to accomplish it

The result of all this would be that everybody has lots of cfengine code, but 
little of it is of the sort you would want to share-- both generalized *and* 

I think one approach to this problem would be to arrange the archive in a 
"come as you are" contribbish fashion; have some directories that correspond 
to hard class names, and let people just contribute code to those situations 
where they know it will work.  That might encourage people to submit what 
they have, even if it has only been tested on a few systems.  It also implies 
that we would have more of an 'example gallery' than an archive of certified 
runnable modules.

We should also try to have more formal modules that are written to a certain 
spec (mainly, creative use of classes to ensure it only runs where it really 
ought to run), but I am not optimistic that would get a lot of contributions.  
Still be worth doing, though.

On Monday 12 January 2004 01:49, address@hidden wrote:
> What you are looking for is a method library. We have tried to
> get this kind of thing going many times, without luck.
> No one contributes.
> M
> On 12 Jan, Systems Administrator wrote:
> > On Fri, 9 Jan 2004, Chip Seraphine wrote:
> >> On Friday 09 January 2004 09:16, Wheeler, John wrote:
> >> > >        Speaking of which, is there a central repository of sample
> >> > > cfengine scripts?  CfPAN anyone?
> >
> > ...
> >
> >> Given that our community is a touch smaller than Perl's, we can probably
> >> get away with a fairly casual structure (at least for a while).
> >
> >     I guess my thought was that we could have different configurations
> > for managing different pieces of software, and then just reference them
> > from our other files.  For example, I'd like each of my servers to
> > forward local mail to the main mail server, and to syslog to the central
> > logging server.  Now if I could just install eg. postfix and include
> >, and put a few parameters elsewhere, which
> > would do the mail forwarding automatically for me, that'd be great.  And
> > if I didn't like postfix, I could use eg.
> > Whereas if it was a mail server, I would exclude
> > and include
> >
> >     Likewise with installing syslog-ng and stunnel, and then using
> > or something.
> >
> >     Presumably, though, that isn't the only use that people have for
> > such a central repository.  So it might be a good idea to have one
> > section labelled "by-software", and then have subdirectories for each
> > software from there, and configs that aren't based around a particular
> > piece of software can be stored in another directory.
> >
> >     Anyway, just my usual ramblings...
> >
> >     :)
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