[SPAM] Re: [mod_python] Point of frustration/disappointment

Jim Popovitch jimpop at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 28 23:27:05 EDT 2005

On Thu, 2005-07-28 at 23:05 -0400, Jorey Bump wrote:
> Jim Popovitch wrote:
> > On Thu, 2005-07-28 at 16:11 -0400, Jorey Bump wrote:
> > 
> >>These are all limitations of Red Hat, and have little to do with 
> >>mod_python. 
> > 
> > They are not exclusive "limitations" of Redhat, and the argument is
> > easily won when defining the differences between what a secure
> > production system is and what a development box is.
> The reason you can't easily change to another python on the system is 
> because your version of Red Hat absolutely relies on the version of 
> python that came with it, hence the limitation. There are other 
> platforms that don't install or depend on python by default, so you can 
> choose to install whatever version you wish.

Python does support multiple installed versions, hence python and
python2 binaries. 

> >>Some platforms do not support customization as well as 
> >>others. 
> > 
> > This isn't a customization issue at all.  
> The Red Hat parts department doesn't support Python 2.x for its model 
> 7.3. Installing alternate versions of Python will void your warranty. :)
> > It's a compilation and
> > development issue.  One example: mod_python switched meaning of
> > --with-python somewhere between here and there (but nobody readily
> > documented this in such a fashion that even complex goggling would
> > reveal).  Another:  even though python2 existed at the time, the
> > mod_python Makefile from v2.7.11 hardcodes /usr/bin/python signifying
> > that the developers never thought/intended for it to work with python2. 
> That's because it's meant to work with the *system-wide* version of 
> python, which is customarily a link. On my system:
>   /usr/bin/python -> python2.3

Mailman works fine w/ /usr/bin/python hard-linked to python1.5, yet
Mailman uses v2.2 solely and without problems.

> Perl often uses the same convention. Nobody invokes python2.3 or 
> perl5.8.4 directly by name. You will face the same issues trying to 
> install mod_perl with a new version of perl. Unfortunately, you don't 
> have the option of setting the link to a new binary because some RH 7.3 
> components will break.

v1.5 is really only necessary for yum, but if you know multi-server
(linux) administration you know you need yum.

> >>But when you do this, you are deviating from the philosophy and losing some 
> >>of the benefits of your platform. You are better off upgrading or 
> >>switching platforms.
> > 
> > ...or the applications.  All I am trying to do is get python and
> > python2, from the same era, working with mod_python and apache releases
> > also from the same era.  Latest and "greatest" isn't necessary as
> > necessary functionality exists in the versions I am using (other than w/
> > mod_python).
> But for how long? RH 7.3 has been unsupported for quite a while. 

Unsupported by who, Redhat?  Sure.  There are other support avenues

> If you've been keeping up with security issues, you would have recompiled 
> many components by now. With older systems, you can't escape the law of 
> diminishing returns. At some point, you need to upgrade. By your own 
> admission, you're at the "point of frustration/disappointment" all a 
> result of trying to milk the last drop out of your outdated system. 

It's not outdated by most standards.  Sure it wasn't compiled yesterday,
but neither were you or I. ;-)  It is not uncommmon for Unix systems to
remain in operation for years at the same version level.  Patching is
important of course, but major system overhaul is rarely necessary
unless upgrading the hardware.  Did you know that Redhat 7.3 and Redhat
Enterprise Linix 2.1 are very similar in kernel and package versions.
Redhat EL 2.1 is still supported by Redhat.  Redhat EL 3.0 is not that
much more different from RHEL 2.1.

> My (truly) friendly advice is to move on. Take your pick, Debian will 
> apt-get you to a working system in minutes, Slackware will let you 
> compile and install any version of mod_python/python/apache you want. 
> I'm ridiculously conservative on this list, so believe me when I say I 
> don't make this recommendation lightly. :)

;-) I run Debian on my laptop, I know what Debian has to offer.  However
in this case swapping out the core OS on production systems just isn't
an overnight decision.

-Jim P.

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