[rancid] Rancid 3.0 License Change

Tom Limoncelli tlimoncelli at stackexchange.com
Fri Sep 27 18:08:16 UTC 2013

Reducing customer support costs low is an important goal.  I think the
problem is that going about it via license strictions brings problems for
certain Linux distros that have rules about what can and can not be in the
licenses of software they package.

That said, there should be other ways to get the same goal:

Some suggestions:

1.   Calculate a hash or checksum of the file and print a warning if it is
different.  If it was an error the repackagers would also update the
checksum.  If it is an innocent, "Default rancid.types.base is in use:
TRUE" (or FALSE) message they'll be less likely to want to remove it.

2.  If the file has changed, the startup banner should list the version
number with an "X" appended.  When people list the version number
(typically part of any service engagement) you'll immediately know if the
file was non-standard.

3.  Make it significantly easier to NOT change the file.  For example, add
a "conf.d" directory for people to add configs that are read after the main
file.  People can insert individual files for individual models.

4.  Shame the people that do change it.   Set up a web page called "The
Naughty RANCID Distro list" which lists vendors that are known to have
shipped a modified file.  Include a link to instructions that explain how
not to change the file.

Those are just a few thoughts.

Hope that helps,

Email: tal at whatexit.org    Work: tlimoncelli at StackOverflow.com
Skype: YesThatTom
Blog:  http://EverythingSysadmin.com <http://everythingsysadmin.com/>
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