[thelist] automatic code updates with PHP

Mike Migurski mike at saturn5.com
Wed Nov 13 11:57:01 CST 2002

>No. A CVS account or a crippled shell account means too much technical
>knowledge required and slashes my target audience by a huge factor (100s
>or even 1000s), so that's not an option.

They still have to install something though - I mean, you will need to
place PHP code on their systems that actually checks out and evaluates the
code, right? A bootstrapping script of sorts.

If they really trust you and you're confident that your code will work,
you can even have the first step of your PHP script run 'cvs update'

CVS really doesn't require much technical knowledge - it seems to be
installed on a lot of unix-like systems by default, and is available as
open-source if not. The main difficulty would be the first steps: 1, make
sure they have CVS. 2, put their public ssh keys in your authorizedkeys
file so they can have access to the cvs root on your system. 3, run a 'cvs
checkout' on their system with the appropriate -d argument that points it
at your server. Then, it's just a matter of running 'cvs update' from
within that directory periodically, either manually as the client or

>But there are still very real strategic advantages in being able to send
>updates to users, not just for them but for me as well. So those may way
>in heavier than the eval() disadvantages. (what are those again except
>performance? <un-engineer-like statement alert>Performance is not an
>important issue for this product)</un-engineer-like statement alert>)

Performance only matters when it sucks. :-D

The chief eval() difficulty that I can think of is that it makes it a pain
in the ass to track down bugs on their systems. When something goes awry,
I have no idea what kind of error will be thrown by PHP  - it probably
will just say "there was an error on line 1 (of whatever wrapper script
you have eval'ing the code)" and stop there, robbing you of the chance to
track down problems.

michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:

                "Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!"

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