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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • We can tell several things from your journal entry.
    1. You don't know any good sysadmins. When you say "for some reason, admins seem to have a particular approach to life, that being to take an approach of doing things with the least amount of work possible. And BOFHs do this aggresively (with a good dash of misogeny thrown in)" you miss the point that most of a sysadmin's job is tedious and easily automatable, and so it *should* be automated away. This isn't because he's lazy and wants to sit back and do nothing though, it's because it gives him time to get on with important things like designing and implementing robust scalable systems for you developers to run your code on. As for the aggression and misogeny, in my experience that can come from anywhere, not just admins, and is most likely to come from sales and marketing.
    2. You don't know anything about sysadminning. You seem to be saying that people who do quick n' dirty hacks are a good thing when you care about the infrastructure. This is as untrue in sysadminning as you know it to be in software development.
    3. You don't know much about software development either. Your claim that developers want to solve problems in the widest most generic way possible just ain't true. Developers work to deadlines and to customer requirements. And while it is good if they can also take account of the big picture, not only is that not always possible, it's not even always advisable! You frequently don't even know what the generic solution might look like until you've written a special-purpose one first. And a generic solution will often need so much wrapping and tweaking and poking and prodding before it can be applied to a particular problem that you might as well just write a special-purpose solution anyway.
    4. You don't know much about business requirements. You seem to think that developers live in a nice fluffy world where they are shielded from outside changes but that sysadmins are subject to the capricious whims of The Management. In reality, developers, admins *and* management are subject to random changes requested by people who don't know what they're talking about. In polite society we call them "customers". A competent developer or sysadmin will be able to explain to the person requesting changes the impact that this will have on such things as delivery dates, costs and so on, and will be able to plan the changed job properly.
    5. You seem to think that sysadmins don't plan ahead. A good sysadmin is *not* thrown into a panic when hardware fails. A good sysadmin *knows* that the hardware is out to get him, and will have automatic failover configured (and tested!) or will have plans to temporarily restore service elsewhere. Good sysadmins care about Mean Time To Recovery.
    6. You think you can speak for me. I'm one of your 162 superheroes. But contrary to what you claim, I am not your perfect developer. Some of the stuff I put on CPAN I put there because I had no convenient web server of my own to put it on at the time, and wanted to share it with one other person. Some of the stuff I put there I published because it looks good to potential employers. Some I put there because I want other people to use it. And some I put there only because I was using it, the previous author had abandoned it, and I needed to fix bugs. Not only are my motives in putting stuff in the CPAN suspect, but my background wouldn't be to your liking either - I'm at least as much of a sysadmin and perpetrator of quick hacks as I am a developer.
    As for your Test::Platform proposal - it's an interesting idea, but not sufficiently interesting for me to care. My needs are taken care of already. If you want your better mousetrap you're going to have to build it yourself. Not necessarily all of it, but at least enough of it to demonstrate to us sceptics that it really is worth doing.

    Oh and I should point out that your proposal for a Test::Platform::Client::VMware module breaks one of your own rules for being a good developer. It is insufficiently generalised. Surely you should have Test::Platform::Client::VirtualMachine, from which specific modules for VMware, Mac On Linux, Xen, User Mode Linux, LPARs, FreeBSD jails etc can inherit.

    • Your claim that developers want to solve problems in the widest most generic way possible just ain't true. Developers work to deadlines and to customer requirements.

      Indeed, and they are compromises from the ideal.

      You seem to think that sysadmins don't plan ahead. A good sysadmin is *not* thrown into a panic when hardware fails. A good sysadmin *knows* that the hardware is out to get him, and will have automatic failover configured (and tested!) or will have plans to temporarily restore service elsewher