SwitchTower with spinner/spawner/reaper = teh suxx0r

hey all,

So, we’ve been trying to get a nice stable config running for
deployment with SwitchTower, spinner spawner and reaper, and I have
to say, they are, as it says in the title, teh suxx0r.

I’m annoyed, and wrote this while annoyed :wink:

The problems are rife:

  1. Because lighttpd has no control over the fcgis, the restart
    process is delicate. Lighty frequently cannot “see” new fcgis.
  2. Reaper does not successfully kill all dispatch.fcgi processes in a
    horrifyingly large percentage of calls
  3. SwitchTower frequently hangs on the last task forever, apparently
    waiting for some kind of output
  4. If you miss putting in your password, you get a trace dump from
    the SSH lib, not "please enter your password
  5. The assumptions ST makes about process are very strange - I have
    always used a production tag (in SVN and even back in CVS days.
    Promoting a random revision number seems dumb and very hard to manage
    outside of ST.
  6. If a single small thing goes wrong, ST falls on its sword, hides
    the output of the task that had the problem but is otherwise
    EXTREMELY verbose about nothing useful.


I was going to write a list of things I think need to happen with ST,
but you know, I’m not sure if I ever want what it offers, even on
large clusters, hacking ssh commands explicitly is just a loop
through a host list in a text file… Deployment isn’t complex when
you have tags.

Also, updating takes a hell of a lot less time than a full checkout,
and a rollback is as simple as copying one tag to another. 4 line



alex black, founder
the turing studio, inc.


2600 10th street, suite 635
berkeley, ca 94710