Brent Saner on 9 Jan 2008 19:33:56 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Config Files and Steam Engines

except one deals with inertia and another deals with interaction...

i really don't find this analogy accurate. my opinion, but i don't. sysadmins are more like the people at the station, coordinating the routes the trains take and ensuring the maintenance of the trains only. not responsible for creating or "running" the train. the OPERATORS, if anything, would be the train engineers i'd imagine. users are, obviously, passengers (and sometimes you have 'em, sometimes you don't). and, granted, nowadays the line is blurring between users and ops.

and if you really want to make the analogy go further, the CODERS and PROGRAMMERS, NOT the sysadmins, are the ones "designing the trains"...

to me, config files are like train tracks.
what you're asking for and proposing are flying trains. at this point, they are no longer trains. they're planes. entirely different machines.
and some of us are honestly afraid of heights (well, not me literally. i love flying), and would rather take the ground, where it's stable, convenient, and easy (not to mention a bit more natural), than go through the inconvenience and increased risk of flying.
(don't go quoting actual railroad vs. airline safety stats, anyone, by the way. i feel i've stretched this metaphor too far already, and we could make an entire other thread debating the safety of various travel methods.. and as fun as OT threads are, planes trains and automobiles really don't interest me that much).

to be honest, i feel like this is just Not A Good Idea (TM) that you're proposing, matthew. the phrase "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" is every sysadmin's motto. there's a reason there's still plenty of servers out there still running 2.4 kernel.

for this reason, i wouldn't use a gentoo box as a database server. sure it's fun and more transparent, but the maintenance overhead's a lot more (NOT because it's source-based. because it's newer tech by nature).

shall we take a poll?
realism has to step in somewhere.

SURE, it'd be great if everything was perfectly documented and everything could use one parser. hell, while we're at it let's socialise worldwide capital! let's build a colony on mars! let's make an underwater colony inside a bubble!
do you see where i'm going with this? this is not something linux (and by extension, BSD and other nixen) was aimed at. you're certainly welcome to put your own OS together that IS aimed at something you've imagined, but something tells me it won't see a lot of use by sysadmins. desktop users, maybe. MAYBE. but definitely not sysadmins.

i'm sure the other sysadmins would agree with me on this.

(punches the horse corpse)

brent "reads too much sysadmin theory for his own good" saner
(sorry to steal your shtick, carl. keep it up, i love it)

On Jan 9, 2008 10:02 PM, Matthew Rosewarne <> wrote:
In this thread, the role of the sysadmin has been brought up in several
replies.  This makes me think of steam engines, or more specifically, the
engineers that kept them rolling... (SNIP)

Brent Saner

Bill Gates is to hacking as Sid Vicious was to the Sex Pistols: no talent, everyone hates him, and he's just in it for the fame and money.
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