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Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 05:25:26 -0400

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From: Eric Siegerman <address@hidden>
To: kozma peter <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: Re: version control with shared workplace
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[I've cc'ed this back to info-cvs, since others may be

On Fri, Feb 09, 2001 at 05:31:20PM +0100, kozma peter wrote:
> isn't this setup [HTTP and JRun server per CVS sandbox]
> eating up the webserver's ram and cpu at lightspeed?

CPU, no.  Sure there are lots of processes, but they all spend
(100 - epsilon) percent of their time idle.  Memory, yeah, it
tends to use up a bit.  But that's what swap space is for :-)
Remember, these aren't production servers; they're only being hit
by one developer each, and sporadically at that.

That said, the client I've just finished with is using the same
scheme on their (very-high-traffic) production servers, and
having no real problems.  They just put *lots* of RAM on their
machines (1 GB at least, maybe 2).  I'm guessing (well, hoping)
that they don't see significant paging, but I don't know for sure
-- I wasn't paying much attention, since I was there to write
code, not do sysadminning.

> having 5 or 10 servlet runners means having 5 or 10 jvms, right?

Yup.  Again, idle most of the time, so who cares?

> how many developers are using this server at the same time?  and what kind
> of hadware is it running on?

To be honest, I don't recall the details.  The development server
at said client was a Sun running Solaris Sparc, but I couldn't
tell you much more than that, except that I think someone
remarked that it was an old box.  Probably 8-12 programmers
developing and testing Java servlets, with each programmer:
  - using their own CVS sandbox and server instances, as I've
    already described
  - doing Java compiling
  - doing CVS commits, updates, etc.
  - some of us editing on the server too, and doing other Unix'y
    things (though many preferred to edit on their PCs)

I spent all my time telnetted into that box (since I strongly
prefer working on Unix over Windows), and rarely if ever felt
that the machine was overloaded -- it *didn't* get noticeably
faster when everyone else went home for the night.

I guess the most telling thing is, I instituted CVS, and the
server-per-sandbox thing, at this site.  Of course there was
initial grumbling (mostly about CVS per se -- the usual confusion
about concurrent editing, lack of reserved checkouts, etc; none
that I recall about system slowness or the like); but later, when
I asked people what improvements they'd like to see in the
development setup, I didn't get *any* complaints/suggestions --
except that the integration sandboxes/procedures that I alluded
to in my post hadn't been done, ie. that we hadn't finished
CVSifying the shop.

Back at our own office, we have a PC server (P3/600, 512 MB RAM)
running Linux, serving 4-5 developers.  The box feels
dramatically faster than the above Sun, and has half the users,
so it's not too surprising that there haven't been any

Caveat: you have to put a bit of effort into arranging that your
code can run in multiple sandboxes.  With the kind of
command-line app that was standard when CVS was invented, there
isn't a problem.  But with WWW apps, things are a bit more

  - HTML should use relative links

  - Servlets can't hard-code directory paths (eg. where to find
    properties files), port numbers (for things like the port for
    the RMI registry), etc.  Thus, you need to provide for
    properties that are local to each sandbox.  At the same time,
    most of an application's properties aren't intrinsically
    sandbox-specific, so you want those shared between sandboxes
    (ie. cvs-controlled, like the source code).  So you should
    ideally provide for both shared and local properties.  


|  | /\
|-_|/  >   Eric Siegerman, Toronto, Ont.        address@hidden
|  |  /
Interviewer: You've been looking at the stars all your life:
Is there anything in astrology?
Arthur C. Clarke: It's utter nonsense.  But I'm a Sagittarius,
so I'm naturally skeptical.

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