Project 7 - Improved LCFG Distribution: Final Project Report

The project to update the LCFG website and bring back the automated distribution of LCFG products has been fairly successful. We have now completed all stages of the project except for stage 5 which was to add support for the Mac OSX platform. That platform is still not yet sufficiently developed and we thus propose that we should drop that milestone and add in a new stage to project 81, "Enhance LCFG support for MacOS investigation", to do the work at that point in time.

The total time taken for the project was approximately 34 days. The original plan allowed for 19 days for the first 4 stages and then noted that adding support for non-Redhat systems (e.g. Solaris and Mac OSX) would take an unknown amount of time. This lack of precision was due to it not being clear just how much work would be required to add support to various other software, on which the website generation scripts are dependent. In the end it took 21 days of effort for the first 4 stages, which is fairly close to the initial estimate, and a further 13 days of effort to add support for the Solaris platform.

A great deal of this extra 13 days of work was spent on creating the new LCFG pkgtools C library and Perl modules. This has the added benefit that we have a rewritten qxpack tool and an updated rpmcache component. Both of these now support the 64bit Linux platforms, as well as being able to handle Solaris packages and package lists. The C library provides functionality for parsing package lists which could, at a later date, be utilised by updaterpms and the LCFG server so that all package specification parsing is done within just a single code base.

As the project went on, various other small requirements cropped up and we now, for instance, have easy access to the latest package documentation for each platform which allows simple linking from the LCFG wiki. For example:

The time spent on the project tended to happen in bursts of activity with large gaps of months in between. This was mainly due to other projects such as the upgrade to FC6 being given a higher priority. This has almost certainly resulted in the project taking longer than required as each time I returned to the project code it took a while to become familiarised.

As the primary customer for this project is users external to Informatics we have checked with Kenny McDonald from IS, who runs an LCFG service, whether he was satisfied with the service. Other than a couple of suggestions for minor feature enhancements, which may be considered in the future, he felt the project had fulfilled its goals.

-- KenDawson - 22 Oct 2007

Topic revision: r2 - 06 Nov 2007 - 16:55:01 - KenDawson
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