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by: Bernard Teo

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Bernard Teo
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Tue 18 May 2004

The Fat and Thin Luca

Category : Technology/fatThinInstaller.txt

The nice thing about doing Postfix Enabler is that the code forms the basis of a general purpose installer.

With Luca, I've re-used the Postfix Enabler framework to help me create an installer that can populate either an existing MySQL installation or a brand-new MySQL installation with the basis of an accounting database, e.g., a user-selectable Chart of Accounts, depending on what business a user happens to be in, as well as enough data to show how the system can be used.

It would have been difficult to do this - as well as several ideas that we're about to explore - using the existing standard mechanisms available for software installation on Mac OS X.

The problem I had with Luca was that I went for the option that uses a separate external database, rather than embedding one inside (e.g., using SQLite), because I wanted to be able to offer the users power (e.g., Oracle and MySQL) and choice. But that made the system more complex because we've got two parts which could come apart quite easily.

And we've forced people who might otherwise like to use an accounting system (especially if I can find a way to make it clear that you're actually doing wealth-management rather than accounting) care about something that should properly be kept transparent to them, i.e., the use of a database system.

So we've thought long and very hard about this installer - because it could help us make the use of the database largely transparent, again, to people who don't want to care about it.

We've made some refinements to it. We've now made two versions of the installer - fat and thin - so that people who already have a MySQL installation can download and try out Luca that much faster, while people who don't know what MySQL is could still get to use the accounting system rather painlessly, though it will take a longer time to download.

Don't know if it works well, but we'll learn something whichever way it goes.

More than a year ago, I wrote this in the weblog - about maybe there's a way to use AppleScript Studio to build a tool to set up sendmail and how fun it'll be to explore it. And about how maybe the same tool can be used to install an accounting system and connect it to a MySQL back-end transparently. One year on, and both ideas have been realised.

Posted at 1:06PM UTC | permalink

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VPN Enabler for Mavericks

MailServe for Mavericks

DNS Enabler for Mavericks

DNS Agent for Mavericks

WebMon for Mavericks

Luca for Mavericks

Liya for Mountain Lion & Mavericks

Postfix Enabler for Tiger and Panther

Sendmail Enabler for Jaguar

Services running on this server, a Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks:

  • Apache 2 Web Server
  • Postfix Mail Server
  • Dovecot IMAP Server
  • Fetchmail
  • SpamBayes Spam Filter
  • Procmail
  • BIND DNS Server
  • DNS Agent
  • WebDAV Server
  • VPN Server
  • PHP-based weblog
  • MySQL database
  • PostgreSQL database

all set up using MailServe, WebMon, DNS Enabler, DNS Agent, VPN Enabler, Liya and our SQL installers, all on Mavericks.