January 26, 2005
99% of the time I am totally a booster of Open Source. I love Open Source, I want to marry Open Source, I go around singing that there are “no people like Open Source people, they give away code until they turn blue!!!”, etc. The other 1% of the time, you can find me steadily and fluently cursing Open Source as I struggle to shut down 5 web/DB/pubsub servers in 30 minutes — each of them with Apache in a different place and with different directory structures and sometimes different binary names.
I dunno why people think it’s so clever to put out custom Apache builds, but in my opinion it’s nothing but a huge timesuck to use anyone else’s build. I always build Apache and PHP from source myself, using the exact layout (/usr/local) advocated in the PHP manual. I’m not saying it’s intrinsically better, I’m saying I can’t waste time switching around on a per-server basis — and I don’t think they’re better either. After you’ve had to run a webdev stack on so many different operating systems, you just want consistency so you don’t have to think about it any more.