Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mature Code, not a bad thing

There is a certain attractiveness to shiny and new things. That can apply to programming languages, which is why we see newer languages like ruby, lua, and swift. They have got to be good, after all they are new and shiny.

But there is the other side of the coin, stable mature code which doesn't change or break year after year. I chalk this principle up to why we still see code in c, a venerable language which is just a couple years short of turning 50.

Stable Code

Certainly, expect-lite is no c, but it is now twelve (12) years old, and I have always paid attention to making it backward compatible from its early days. The idea is not to break your code. One can spend way too much time troubleshooting broken code, that turns out the underlying infrastructure is what is broken your code.

RPM no longer working

Unfortunately, not everyone pays close attention to backward compatibility. It was recently pointed out to me that the expect-lite rpm would not install on RHEL 7 machines. It installed fine on the previous version, but something changed.

To be fair, I wasn't creating the RPM the Redhat way. I don't run a Redhat machine these days, having migrated to Debian/Ubuntu years ago. I was using a program called alien to create the RPM from a 'deb' package file. And something was no longer working.

A new RPM

Fortunately, one of the expect-lite users, volunteered to make the RPM on RHEL 7, and that has been published to the SourceForge site. If you use RHEL or Centos, you should run over and grab the new-working RPM from SourceForge.

Thanks to the expect-lite community for making expect-lite automation for the rest of us.

* rpm logo creative commons

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