Keeping it simple isn’t stupid

GeoIP / IPv6

As an IPv6 enthusiast/proponent/fanboy I was really happy to see Maxmind finally put up a free-as-in-beer IPv6 GeoIP database[1]. Now to find some applications that will make good use of this data… 🙂

(Don’t worry, I’ll pull it into EPEL/Fedora GeoIP packages either way. It’s not a huge file)

Keeping it simple isn’t stupid, no sir!

I’ve worked with configurations in a variety of baroque formats, not limited to but including your common XML formats, Perl scripts (thank you cleanfeed/amavisd), python (ta maradns!), something that may be Erlang (ejabberd), lua (prosody) and have developed a fondess for the simple simpicity of a key = value pair config.

This is especially useful when you’re in a bind with a relatively unfamiliar piece of software, as I was this morning. The last thing you want to be faced with when you’re under the gun and need something working Right Now is some app developer’s bizarro idea of a sane config file, so keeping them simple and sensible is a huge plus – app developers take note, resist the urge to be too clever 😀

Say what you will about the old Windows .ini file, at least you know what you had to do with it

(The less said about the prank-gone-wrong that is registry hives the better and I’m glad UNIX vendors never took that particular drug :-))

PS. The application was qpidd from the AMQP stack, for reference and both it’s manuals – and Red Hat’s MRG Guides – helped immensely. Microbrews all around!

[1] http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoIPv6.dat.gz

This should be obvious, but..

If it’s not notifications / oddly explained failures to build from gcc itself (hello davfs2 on CentOS/RHEL5, where did that fail? Insights welcomed as the build.log is charmingly opaque. Cheers) or flex & bison (Hello vulcan on F10/x86_64, whaddaya mean you can’t parse and move the .yy files? Jebus on a razor scooter every other distro version and arch did it happily except the one I actually run!) it’s another thing.

Am I also the only person who sees “advice” like this “fix” for a library error and let out a Charlie Brown-esque “AUGH!” (Two good ways to fix this, microbrew to the commenter who posts the most elegant one first ;-))

I’ve had much success installing Fedora Directory Server and Cobbler over the last couple of days (home and the workplace respectively) but remind those attempting it that “with great power, comes a great responsibility to read the supplied documentation carefully before issuing a ‘service <foo> start'” .

These two are an example of packages that are insanely great, very powerful and can do everything but bring about world peace. Conversely the configuration items and possibilities are legion, ergo consider what you want to achieve and what you’re working with before you open your text editor.

Doing it the other way around is of course an excellent way of creating a timesink. 😀

Sensible defaults are good and common, but not always ideal. Just because it starts doesn’t mean it will suit your needs. Approach with a plan and you’ll be much happier and more successful.

(The same reasoning applies to “live” server installs. “It boots” doesn’t mean “It works” or “It’s secure” – especially the latter, having seen a few folk learn the hard way ;-))