What scripting languages

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#1 Fri, 12/08/2006 - 18:30
hescominsoon

What scripting languages

What languages other than perl and php does virtualmin support? things like ruby are on the radar but i am interested in python and java.

Sat, 12/09/2006 - 01:20
Joe
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Hey William,

We don't not support any languages. But we also don't really support any languages, either. ;-)

The question is: What do you want us to do with them in order to call them supported?

We've got Install Scripts for quite a few PHP scripts, because they're self-contained and don't usually require a lot of custom configuration on installation. A few Perl CGI scripts are also in for the same reason. Ruby On Rails is pushing it, as the "quick" setup usually requires quite ridiculous amounts of customization (compared to PHP and Perl CGI stuff), but it's quite popular and Ruby gems are making supporting it a little more sane.

We've also got a nice CPAN GUI already in there, and a PHP Pear GUI going into the repos as soon as the PHP4/PHP5 version thing is sorted. Both are great tools, and I can see us doing the same for Ruby Gems in the not distant future.

Python, on the other hand, has no standard package format or source for packages (eggs are coming along but not there yet). Jamie and I are both fond of Python. But some of the most popular Python tools are extremely complex to setup. Plone, for instance, is the single most painful installation and maintenance process I've ever had the misfortune of touching (I maintained a pretty popular Zope and then Plone site for about three years). There's no way that can be automated without fixing the underlying problems in the platform...no simple installation wrapper script is going to make it sane. Moin Moin isn't too bad, if you install it as a CGI script. It gets more painful when you want to run it under mod_python or fcgid. It might make it into the Install Scripts at some point. We already mostly support Mailman, which is another of the Python killer apps...I've rolled out a new version of the Mailman module just now that corrects a few existing issues and clears the way for repairing a few others in the install process.

Java. Ah, where to start on Java? There's just too much Java out there, and most of the projects have the same problem as Plone--too many dependencies, too much complexity in the configuration, too many ways things can go wrong.

So, let's talk specifics: What do you envision support for Python and Java looking like?

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Sat, 12/09/2006 - 01:26
Joe
Joe's picture

Oh, yeah, I believe trac will probably end up being available as an Install Script at some point in the not far distant future. It's a great tool, and we've had a few requests for management of it over the past year (partly because one of our "real world" test sites is a software development site, that focuses on scientific software for Python). It's more complex than most of our scripts to install, and it requires quite a few third party packages (ClearSilver, SQLite, Python, plus several non-standard Python libs), so it's not going to be an easy one to add.

But, trac is a good example of why we don't have any Python scripts in the Install Scripts. Even when they're really good, and well documented and easy to maintain, they're often just too complex to reliably support them across so many platforms with the resources we have available.

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Sat, 12/09/2006 - 20:28
hescominsoon

so i i have a client that wants to run a tomcat based app their out of luck? Same for python apps?

Sat, 12/09/2006 - 20:33 (Reply to #4)
Joe
Joe's picture

Hey William,

Of course not!

You've got a full Linux system there...it can do anything a Linux system can do. I'm just asking what you want us to do to "support" these platforms?

Python is already installed by default on every system we support.

Java, on the other hand, nobody can distribute except Sun until they get their new Open Source licenses straightened out. Which should be soon...Most Linux distros come with gcj and the gnu Java toolchain, but it's not particularly modern.

There probably is some stuff we could do to enable Tomcat apps out of the box. We've never had anyone ask for it, so we've never worked on it.

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