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pgNixInstaller: Making PostgreSQL relocatable

From: Enver ALTIN <ealtin(at)parkyeri(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: Devrim Gunduz <devrim(at)commandprompt(dot)com>, Nicolai Tufar <ntufar(at)gmail(dot)com>, Burcu Guzel <burcu(dot)guzel(at)gmail(dot)com>
Subject: pgNixInstaller: Making PostgreSQL relocatable
Date: 2006-03-23 04:50:18
Message-ID: 4422290A.6080707@parkyeri.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Hi,

We have been having a short talk with Devrim this evening about the
pgnixInstaller[1] project he started[2] a while ago.

I have briefly read over the thread following the project announce, 
particularly comments on issues about package systems of distributions 
and integration with them.

I believe the project will add some value to the PostgreSQL community, 
so I'd like to join and add my grain of salt.

Main goal of the project appears to be making installation and 
configuration of PostgreSQL server a no-brainer, not easier. Any moron 
you can get to the /mouse/[3] should be able to get PostgreSQL up and 
running in some short time period. And that moron should be able to do 
it in some fashion that's not so good, but the installation should work.

Fortunately we're not alone in the universe, several other projects 
suffered from the very same problem. Including the much larger 
OpenOffice.org project. I think some of you have installed it on your 
favorite Unix-alike OS using it's click-click-and-go installer, when 
distributions did not have packages of it -- ancient times.

We'll be doing that for PostgreSQL, I think it's a fantastic way for me 
to get involved.

In order to achieve this *properly*, I intend to make PostgreSQL 
relocatable, that is, PostgreSQL should be able to run if you `copy` 
it's binaries somewhere else -- no matter where you `./configure 
--prefix`ed it. I took a very quick look at some parts of the codebase 
and it seems doable to me.

Apparently we'll be avoiding package systems integration and 
development-packages-requirement issues mentioned in the thread.

Next step would be a simple, possibly shell-script and xdialog/zenity[4] 
based prototype installer. I personally can't afford the Python thing, 
Solaris and possibly others don't have it yet and embedding Python in a 
shell script is not the brightest idea obviously.

Now the question, would you accept patches for this, or are we going to 
maintain some set of patches?

May you have suggestions about any other direction, I'd be more than 
happy to know.

Cheers,

[1] http://pgfoundry.org/projects/pgnixinstaller/
[2] http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-hackers/2006-01/msg00943.php
[3] http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000024.html
-- 
Enver

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