[FGS] Status / httpd / etc

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at dmsolutions.ca
Tue Sep 21 09:56:44 EDT 2004

Tyler Mitchell wrote:
> I do have an opinion on a couple related points though.  Module/base file 
> sizes are irrelevant to me and, I believe, to the community in general.  That 
> is not a factor in my book.

Well, disk space is cheap, but I don't think that it's ok to require 
70MB of disk space or more in order to install a light-weight package 
such as MapServer that can fit in 10MB.

Let's assume that disk space is not relevant, there is also the package 
size that has an impact on your ability to host the package for download 
on your servers, and on the user's ability to download them.

For instance, we are at a point where maptools.org generates over 100GB 
of downloads per month, and fast/reliable bandwidth *is* expensive for 
us. If we can produce a 10MB download instead of a 50MB download for FGS 
packages, that will have a significant impact on our ability to host 
more packages.

For a few downloads per day, the package size is not an issue, but when 
your packages gain in popularity and you get tens or hundreds of 
downloads per day then it is an issue. A difference of 40MB (10MB vs 
50MB) on the package size for a package that is downloaded 25 times per 
day means a waste of 1GB per day, or 30GB wasted per month... just for a 
single package! Multiply that by the number of packages that you plan to 
distribute and then you realize that file size is relevant.

> Our original intention was also to keep the number of 'packages' as few as 
> possible - hence a larger base package and fairly thin modules.  However, I 
> don't mind increased number of packages if it can help maintain the 
> project(s) over time.  I've used the installer several times and am convinced 
> that the complexities of the dependency tree can be handled without too much 
> pain on the users' part.

Cool  :)

> What I'm not clear on is the process for creating them - I guess I need to dig 
> further into your CVS code eh?  I feel we got the building environment down 
> to being pretty simple in the first round - how does this environment change 
> with this installer/packaging philosophy?

I think Guillaume had written some basic docs for that (please send 
pointers Guillaume, and/or add to the Wiki). If anything is not complete 
enough then please don't hesitate to ask. The objective is that things 
should not be more complicated than they used to be, actually it should 
be the reverse: it should be easier to manage and port the packages to 
other Unixes with this approach than with the manual approach that was 
taken initially.

> I'm interested in pursuing things further along these lines, but need some 
> coaching on how this would change my building strategy.  Maybe you have 
> already tried to do this, but I still don't understand.
> Thanks for taking the time to explain and debate these topics guys.

And thanks to you for being open to discussing them with us.

  Daniel Morissette               dmorissette at dmsolutions.ca
  DM Solutions Group              http://www.dmsolutions.ca/

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