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Re: Poll: Most helpful feature after 1.3?

On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 4:10 PM, o1bigtenor <..hidden..> wrote:

> Maybe it could be something like this:
> Install postgresql x.xx.xx.
> test that install by doing yyyyyyyyyy
> result should be zzzzzzzzzzz

Something like:

If PostgreSQL is not installed, please install a supported version
(see above for supported versions).

You can test the installation by running the following as root:
psql -U postgres template1

You should see a prompt like

If you get prompted for a password, or get an authentication error,
please see the section on configuring PostgreSQL below.

If you get an error message which suggests that psql could not connect
to the server, PostgreSQL may not be running.  Please verify it is
installed and running, and refer to the PostgreSQL documentation for
more information.

I'd also suggest maybe a GETTING HELP section at the top of the
installation documentation which mentions the email list, links to
commercial support offerings and the like.  People may be more
inclined to see it if it is at the top of the file.

> With each piece of software being check to verify that it is where it
> needs to be and can and does communicate with all the other pieces
> that are a part of the puzzle.

Well, technically speaking, Apache isn't generally communicating with
PostgreSQL directly except in the context of SELinux woes, which are a
whole different issue.  I don't think it would be helpful to a newbie
to go beyond "this may cause problems.  You can turn it off if you
have to.  Here is how to...."

Also we can put in here a way of doing a comprehensive test against
PostgreSQL and Apache since we now have much better test coverage.

> A what to do in case of error type of information is also a very useful tool

At least for the most common errors, I agree.  There are some errors
where it's worth suggesting that people ask for help
>>> 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.
>> There are two other things that could have prevented this as well.
>> The first is if PostgreSQL had not been configured to use password
>> authentication (many distros including, I think, Debian by default
>> requires that the user be logged in under a specific system account to
>> log in), and the second is if it had, but a password had not been set
>> up.  In either of these cases you wouldn't have been able to log in.
>> In general if you know something about PostgreSQL, this is obvious,
>> but as you point out, we don't want to make that assumption.
>> Moreover, this absolutely must be documented better for 1.3 because
>> the way we authenticate users means that we have fewer choices for
>> supported authentication settings for PostgreSQL.  A little knowledge
>> might have been passable in 1.2 in lieu of better documentation but in
>> 1.3 it can pose security hazards.  What I can tell you is that this is
>> being worked on and so the description of your problem is very timely
>> and helpful.
> As a user I am not aware of all of the differences (some subtle and
> some not) between the different distros. It is not that easy to gain
> this knowledge either!

I don't think any of us are perfectly knowledgeable in all of them.
It's one reason why growing the community so that we can have experts
in as many as possible is important.  Right now there are active
members in the community using Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. I am adding
CentOS and Scientific Linux to my plate (since these form a larger
family with Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora).  But for the Debian stuff
I have to rely on others.

> Maybe what is needed is a virtual machine with everything set up on it.
> I have been thinking that for a machine with enough horsepower that
> this might be one way around needing to do all the steps oneself - -
> that may be a null option - - what say you (devel team)?

There have been people looking at virtual machines of this sort.  I
don't expect those to be far off.

> Meta type meaning some kind of setup where all the various pieces were
> being installed at one time (sequentially or whatever) by the setup
> program versus setting up each piece individually.

To some extent this sort of problem has to be looked at individually
for different distros.  For example, Debian packages with the right
dependencies or RPM's should do most of this for you.  However, I am
wondering a few things here as to how to make this smoother.....

>> Also one thing I want to be absolutely clear about.  I am not
>> criticizing your handling of anything.  Rather I am trying to
>> understand what we can do better.
> I am interested in helping - - if for nothing else than seeing how to
> get it to not work (grin!).
> I think I could also help with documentation.
> One issue - - I am lots and lots of miles from anyone else that I know
> that has high knowledge levels and I need my work system to be there
> for running my businesses. (I do have three operational systems at the
> present time and am only running two.)

Where are you located?  What can we do to help?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers