Hi Rowan,

On Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:47 +0300, Rowan Thorpe wrote:
> On 11 October 2016 at 16:03, Mike Pechkin wrote:
> > I have PIL on every OS it supports, except IRIX.
> > I can update or patch or compile PIL very fast without walls.
> I agree for personal use, and it is what I presently do on my
> webhost and personal VMs, but for use at large scale it means
> duplication of effort, risk of inconsistencies from doing manual
> steps,

Answer: don't build with manual steps, use scripts (and test them, of
course).[0]  At large scale, orchestration systems do the same thing.
For instance, they sometimes have to install software that is not
pre-built in a canonical package repository.

> barrier to entry for new users,

But picolisp is for experienced programmers[1], a class of people who
have no problem building software.

> less exposure for Picolisp to potential users, etc.

Maybe this is true, but also recall the point about experienced
programmers (who will be the potential users).

> Also, due to the need for auditability and extreme scale with no
> maintenance-overhead my webhost would never agree to manually
> compile/install Picolisp to their public systems from upstream
> source (and definitely not repeatedly for each new release).

But didn't you mention earlier that they allowed you to build picolisp
("it is what I presently do on my webhost")?  If so, that's an option.
And you can script your installs and builds for the large(r) scale.

> They would only consider installing a stable package from the "Ports
> tree", hence why I am looking for that.

If they wouldn't let you build picolisp and other software for your
site, you might consider another web hosting service.[2] Seriously.

For all the conveniences and other upsides of ports/packages, they
still have to have maintainers who commit to stay on top of updating
the port.  Sometimes that's a lot to ask of someone (who is of course
doing it on a volunteer basis).  I've never been a port maintainer
myself, but being on the other side, when ports *don't* get updated,
I've had to nag the maintainer (and nobody likes that) and when that
doesn't get the port updated (not an uncommon case btw), I have to do
the build myself anyway. :(

Of course, this is all just my 2 cents.

Best to you, --Rick


0.  For instance, I myself, on all my platforms -- be they desktop,
laptop, server, it doesn't matter -- use scripts (actually one script
in this case) to install even something as "small" as picolisp:
https://github.com/cryptorick/pilot.  Even though the standard
picolisp build is freakin' dead easy, I have other configuration
tweaks that I require to be accomplished pre- and post-build/install,
and I have assurance that "my bases are covered" if I use a script.
So, I'm not telling you to do something that I don't do myself. ;)

1.  This is one of the general themes of the Reference,

2. NFSN is (a FreeBSD-based) one that allows the user to build/install
their own software; there are probably others.
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