Re: Volunteer to build a configuration tool

From: James Neethling <james(at)silversphere(dot)co(dot)za>
To: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Volunteer to build a configuration tool
Date: 2007-06-18 19:22:33
Message-ID: 4676DB79.3020108@silversphere.co.za
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> This is my idea:
>
> A JavaScript HTML page that would have some basic questions at the top:
>
> 1) How much memory do you have?
>
> 2) How many connections will be made to the database?
>
> 3) What operating system do you use?
>
> 4) Etc…
>
> Next the person would press a button, “generate”, found below the
> questions. The JavaScript HTML page would then generate content for
> two Iframes at the bottom on the page. One Iframe would contain the
> contents of the postgresql.conf file. The postgresql.conf settings
> would be tailored more to the individuals needs than the standard
> default file. The second Iframe would contain the default settings one
> should consider using with their operating system.
>
> My web team would be very happy to develop this for the PostgreSQL
> project. It would have saved us a lot of time by having a
> configuration tool in the beginning. I am willing to make this a very
> high priority for my team.
>

Hi Lance,

I agree that having a page that can assist in generating a base
configuration file is an excellent way to start off with a good
configuration that can assist a system administrator in getting half way
to a good configuration. We've recently gone through a process of
configuring a machine and it is a time consuming task of testing and
benchmarking various configuration details.

My thoughts:
Using the browser is a great idea as a universal platform. I can
foreseen a problem in that some users won't have GUI access to the
machine that they are setting up. I don't have much direct experience in
this field, but I suspect that a great number of installations happen
'headless'? This can easily be circumvented by hosting the configuration
builder on a public internet site, possibly postgresql.org?

Also, Javascript isn't the easiest language to use to get all the
decisions that need to be made for various configuration options. Would
it not be a better idea to host a configuration builder centrally,
possible on postgresql.org and have the documentation reference it,
including the docs that come packaged with postgresql (README, INSTALL
documentation?). This would mean that you wouldn't be able to package
the configuration builder, but you would be able to implement more
application logic and more complex decision making in a hosted
application. Of course, I have no idea of the skills that your team
already have :)

To add ideas: perhaps a more advanced tool would be able to add comment
indicating a suggested range for the particular setting. For example,
with 2Gb of RAM, it chooses a workmem of, say, 768Mb, with a comment
indicating a suggested range of 512Mb - 1024Mb.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together and for offering the
services of your team.

Kind regards,
James

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