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Re: [Health-dev] Should distribution packaging solve the installation/co

From: Axel Braun
Subject: Re: [Health-dev] Should distribution packaging solve the installation/configuration issues our users are having?
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:41:43 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.14.4 (Linux/3.11.10-25-desktop; KDE/4.14.4; x86_64; ; )

Hi all,

> Good to hear some thoughts on this. I've had similar thoughts to
> Emilien. I think I want good packaging and robust sysadmin tools to
> solve these pesky issues. Yet, I see where it probably won't solve
> everything, Mathias made good points on this.

Full ack.
But that can only cover the first step (Installation and resolution of all 
Configuration should be made by each sys-admin.

> However, Luis made a good point about documentation. I must admit I'm at
> fault for thinking of the documentation last. Hehe.

Mathias used already that nice four letter acronym for this.... ;-)

> I think there is a middle way that is open for improvement. For example,
> on the FHIR side, I haven't included a requirements.txt file so there
> can be a one-line python command to install all the dependencies.
> I could also include some Ansible, Supervisord, etc.  example config
> files to help sysadmins. *And* update the documentation!  Things like
> that.

The more generalized issue of this topic is - do we want to ship source code 
to the users?
Emilien mentioned:
> Of course, us veteran developers and system administrators have no
> problem setting all these things up, and doing the occasional

I disagree. Even if you are somewhat experienced it is a PITA.

Just did a cross check to install gnu health from the installation script. It 
failed a couple of times for different reasons.
1) gcc not installed
2) python-devel not installed
3) OK, python-devel was not the problem, where is Python.h?
4) cleaning all installation directories after each step.
5) get me another beer please
6) shall I really continue to try?

This has a high level of potential to frustrate end-users.

So, having a distribution-specific package that makes use of the package 
management takes away all this trouble from an end user by having the 
dependencies solved once for everyone (instad of having each user and each 
installation solving it.), see slides from TUL [1]

OpenBuildService is OpenSource and free to use. It builds Debian and Ubuntu as 
well (also on the reference server,, and by this can use 
as a common repository.

Another way may be to use docker or some kind of technology. Sharoon presented 
a promising example on TUL.

Independent which technology or Distribution we use, important is that we come 
up with a user friendly approach to run GNU Health (and Tryton)

My 2c


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