Subject: Re: a tool free software developers need
From: "Federico Lucifredi" <flucifredi@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 20:26:29 -0500

Ben Tilly wrote:
> Tom Lord wrote:
> > Lately, I'm getting bug reports that are very platform and
> > configuration specific.  These aren't necessarily obscure systems --
> > more like "RedHat 7.2 with Bash 2.05a.0 and gawk 3.0.6" or "Solaris
> > mumbledefoo on an Ultrasparc" -- but they are different from the
> > systems I have and at this stage, I usually can't reproduce the bugs
> > reported on the machines I have.
>[..]
> > I could go a lot faster if I could get as accurate a description of
> > the platform as possible, fire off an email to a friendly platform
> > farm, and get back a reservation:

I would suggest such a system could be a viable fsb: provide the service for
free to Free Software developers and charge those who use the service for
their commercial/consulting projects or those who need it ASAP.

> >    To: lord@regexps.com
> >    From: friend-platform-farm@osdl.org
> >
> >    You have a 3 hour reservation on test235.odsl.org at 3am
> >    on 2002-02-16.  Your ssh key is attached.
> >
> > Presumably "test235" would be freshly loaded with a
> > closest-available-approximation of my platform spec when I log in, and
> > would be re-loaded after I leave.

Other than a choice of OS/architecture, what other things would you see
being set up for you automatically ? I believe you should be given full
control of the machine for the time in question, so that you could carry out
fine-tuning of the configuration yourself.

(BIG security headaches follow from what I just said - most likely the
combination some sort of system to properly identify the users and an
"inside-out" firewall could take care of the major problems I foresee off
the top of my head).

-F