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Re: Poll: Most helpful feature after 1.3?

On Fri, 22 Jul 2011, o1bigtenor wrote:

I used files from .deb repositories for each of the installations.

I have used apt-get I have also used aptitude. Each seemed to get
whatever job done but then came the issues.

In theory, the .deb could have depended upon postgresql-server, and apache2. Actually, it should depend on www-server (I think that's the generic handle for a web server on Debian/Ubuntu), because you must run the web server on the system with the application.

However, depending on the DBMS is not such a good idea, for the reason Chris stated--someone might want to run their database on another machine. Still, it should provide postgresql-server as a recommended package. It's been so long since I did this for 1.2, that I don't recall what it does depend on/recommend.

However, the documentation of the time did talk about requiring PostGreSQL and a web server, although there was no way provided, that i remember, to test for either. You were just expected to know whether they were there, and how to get them if they weren't.

There was something in either the install docs or FAQ, about making the necessary trust changes to the PostGreSQL authentication control file, to enable LSMB to log in. If you made those changes, and still couldn't log in, I would be very curious as to what was going on.

There was much that could have been done better both in the documentation, and the process, for installing 1.2. In general, the .deb file available, was not up to the standard of a regular apt package, and so if you did not go in with that expectation, you would probably expect a lot more pre-configuration than you were going to get.

Then too the cpan stuff, which for the uninitiated can be a bucket of cold water indeed.

Before getting into where we might be able to improve the
documentation based on your feedback, one issue is worth mentioning

For 1.3, it already has been done. I can not overestimate the value of Erik's contributions in putting together a base install file that covers the debian side as well as the general cases. What he doesn't have there can be easily plugged in to the final product, and provided we get rid of all the extra little READMEs and such that are laying around (I haven't looked lately, so maybe we have), to get down to a single source for install info, this is already a vast improvement.

Wouldn't be even better to have a .deb or .rpm that went like this:

1. you want to run LedgerSMB
2. you do not have Postgres running

but might on another machine.

3. you do not have Apahe running

Assuming Apache is your webserver of choice, the .deb should depend on a web server in general, yes. Checking whether it is actually running, however, is a bit beyond the scope. The best the dependency checking should do, is make sure that the system believes that a web server exists.

The debconf process, however, should ask where the database is going to be (I.E. on which machine), as a critical level question. If you don't give it something it can test against, it should probably fail configuration in some helpful way, directing you to install a local DBMS if one isn't installed. Imho, it should *not* do that for you. There are just too many possible configurations.

 > 4. run this script
5. enter passwords as required by the script

Some of that should be done in debconf.

6. start the service

If the web server and/or database manager are not running, there may be a good reason for that. It should probably do a restart on the web server if it can, because that is the Debian way, but handling errors that come up when it does that, such as an inability to start, are beyond its operational parameters.

7. enter a password for the superuser and a user for ledgerSMB > 8. run

The script my contact wrote did everything to step 6. It was after
that that I couldn't get the program to actually run so I could set up
my COA etc.

Not that we're really trying to solve that now, but something sounds very wrong with this whole situation. If all of those things were done, and all of the PERL modules were installed, and PostGreSQL was configured to let you log in (see Chris' messages), you should have been able to do those things.

I didn't respond any sooner because I've heard RTFM lots of times and

For what it's worth, I doubt you would have heard that in this case. We all know that the "m" in this case was not great in covering installation issues, so telling you to read it for other than a basic question, would not have been helpful. Spilled milk, that, but for the future, always at least ask. Even an RTFM tells you something you didn't know for certain before--I.E. that the community is either full of people who didn't read your question clearly; or that you need to explain your question in more detail so they know you did read the manual; or that this is just an unhelpful group this time around. Either way, you know more than you knew before you asked, and can act accordingly.