[Web4lib] blue sky thinking

John Fereira jaf30 at cornell.edu
Thu Jul 27 13:54:07 EDT 2006

Aslin, Verna wrote:
> I can guardedly endorse the suggestion that libraries outsource their
> websites to a commercial server. We have been running a site on an
> external server for the past 4 years. 
For the most part it seems that much of the discussion so far in this 
thread has been focused on the merits of outsourcing the administration 
and management of a commercial server which hosts a website.  I thought 
I'd chime in as a web application developer with some other issues to 

Basically, for website projects that I am involved with it takes more 
than one server to fully support it.  Typically there is one machine 
that is considered the production server, a desktop machine that I use 
for development, and ideally a machine that is used as a "test" 
environment that may or may not be used as a redundant machine in case 
the production machine goes down.   In other words, I never make changes 
directly on the production machine, but rather,  manage the code base 
from a central location (using a source control system) and build and 
deploy the web application first to my development machine so that other 
team member can evaluate/test any changes before deploying them to the 
production machine.  It might make sense to farm out support for a 
production machine but for larger projects, IMHO, you're still going to 
need systems (and someone to manage them) in house for development.

Someone else mention the need to have root access to the machine.  
Speaking personally, I've been a programmer and system administrator 
since the early 80's and have almost always had root access on machines 
that I've worked on.  I feel crippled otherwise.

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