Wednesday, February 9, 2011

yet more shitty vendor software

Oracle's Client installer is shitty. I think we all know that. There's some arcane mystical process in which you're supposed to figure out how to record an interactive install's options, then repeat the install later with a "silent install" using the pre-recorded steps. That usually doesn't work, either because the documentation is ages old or the syntax has changed or depends on some other shit they haven't told you about and provide no debugging information to figure it out. So pretty much the same as doing a Solaris JumpStart.

RSA is the new vendor hell i'm involved in. These morons couldn't create a software installer to save their lives. They have this huge installer just for their Access Manager product which provides all these dependencies that your OS already has (because it's impossible to just specify requirements for software anymore; they should really ship me a copy of Bash to run the install script). You run the installer bash script, which usually requires root and has about a billion hard-coded paths in it, so even if you pick a new install path it's only going to work in the pre-recorded path. There's also a bunch more scripts which get executed that modify system-level root-owned files, and there's no way to get around these hard-coded paths unless you 1. edit the install script, then 2. create a new RPM database in your user's home directory/modify your rpmmacros file, 3. unpack the RPM that the software comes in (which is for some reason packaged separately from the rest of the install software) and modify all the scripts and paths and re-pack into an rpm. That's for Linux; for Solaris it's near god-damn impossible without root, or just lots and lots more editing and unpacking by hand.

The end result is that you have to fucking re-engineer their whole installer just to get the god damn thing to install in more than one place and without root. What kind of morons are these people? Do they really expect someone with root credentials to sit there and babysit someone installing a shitty instance of their shitty product? I understand that creating user accounts just for the software is up to the root-owning sysadmins, but everything else probably needs to be done by somebody else and in multiple times and multiple paths. Having a "response file" to read and re-install with is nice, but only if you can fucking USE it for something, like actually installing to a non-standard path as a normal user.

Get with the fucking program, shitty 3rd party software vendors. Even Oracle has a "" file so the majority of the install can be performed by a not-root terminal monkey. And for fuck's sake, provide some simple documentation and explanation IN YOUR INSTALL FILES. I don't want to dig through 20 PDFs on your shitty knowledge base site or call tech support just to figure out how the the hell to create this god damn response file to install your crap. I have better things to be doing than figuring out your lame installer.

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