A Practical Use Of Open Source Code Softwares

A Practical Use Of Open Source Code Softwares

A Practical Use Of Open Source Code Softwares
As we started the​ project of​ our electronic auction,​ we knew that the​ proprietary software costs would be too high for our financial resources .​
Our only option then was to​ make use of​ Open Source Code softwares.
However,​ within the​ Open Source Code there are lots of​ softwares to​ choose from,​ and it´s up to​ the​ system analyst/programmer to​ pick the​ ones that best suit the​ project goals.
In our case,​ we picked Linux as​ our operating system .​
However we faced a​ big question: Which Linux distribution ? There are dozens of​ linux distributions,​ each one with specific advantages,​ sometimes with or​ without paid services.
We chose linux Slackware because we thought that it​ would suit better our needs,​ in​ terms of​ stability and reliability .​
Slackware is​ a​ conservative distribution,​ meaning that it​ only offers in​ its distribution package kernel versions and third party libraries,​ once it´s been proved to​ be stable and reliable .​
As a​ result,​ Slackware is​ one the​ most stable Linux operating system on​ the​ market .​
If the​ user wishes the​ most recent Linux kernel and libraries,​ we recommend to​ look for a​ different distribution.
Another reason for us picking Slackware,​ was because of​ its text interface,​ which at​ the​ beginning may become a​ bit difficult,​ in​ the​ long run however it​ offers a​ better understanding of​ the​ Linux environment .​
This way most of​ Slackware configurations are done thru text scripts.
Once it​ was set the​ operating system,​ we picked Apache as​ our web server .​
Apache is​ one of​ the​ most popular web server in​ the​ internet .​
For server programming language,​ we chose PHP .​
Also,​ a​ very popular programming language .​
Our experience with Apache/PHP proves that this setup is​ very reliable,​ working extremely well in​ our production environment .​
For workstation programming language,​ we chose javascript,​ which besides of​ having a​ simple syntax,​ it​ offers lots of​ resources.
Apache web server is​ really a​ complete web server .​
Also,​ it​ can become very complex with many configuration setups.
For our database,​ we picked Postgresql .​
This database has been made available to​ the​ public for more than 15 years,​ and besides of​ being well debugged,​ it​ offers so many resources that it​ has become one of​ the​ best database options from Open Source Code softwares .​
Extremely reliable,​ Postgresql has reported cases where there have been databases in​ production with over 4 terabytes .​
Besides all of​ that,​ Postresql is​ not the​ most popular Open Source Code database .​
a​ matter of​ marketing ? Probably.
As for the​ programming language PHP,​ we had to​ use an​ object oriented application structure .​
There are many PHP application structures being offered with Open Source Code license .​
Object oriented application is​ very important,​ because it​ makes programming very easy and scalable up to​ the​ point where the​ system may grow without many problems .​
Also,​ it​ helps to​ keep PHP code separated from HTML,​ with the​ help of​ some specific libraries,​ such as​ Smarty .​
We make use of​ Smarty library and we believe that it​ is​ a​ very important resource,​ which can even make web pages faster thru the​ use of​ its cache functions.
Also a​ very important set of​ libraries worth mentioning for PHP systems,​ is​ the​ PEAR libraries .​
In PEAR web site,​ among the​ many libraries being offered,​ there are the​ database interface DB and the​ MAIL_QUEUE,​ which sends emails thru the​ use of​ database.
As we came to​ the​ end of​ our web site project,​ we had to​ use some sort of​ real time database replication .​
For that we chose the​ DRBD and Heartbeat libraries .​
The use of​ database replication is​ very important and should not be postponed .​
Just after 3 months our system got into production,​ our server hard disk became bad .​
Thru the​ use of​ DRBD/Heartbeat we were able to​ put the​ system back into production within seconds,​ without loosing any data .​
DRBD/Heartbeat replication is​ done thru the​ use of​ a​ lan network between the​ server and slave nodes.
Our project also makes use of​ ImageMagick (enlarge and reduce images),​ Iptables (firewall),​ Tsearch2(text search in​ portgresql) and Mon (linux monitoring tasks).
Also a​ very important library worth mentioning is​ the​ pseudo APC compiler for PHP .​
Speed is​ always a​ critical factor for internet sites.
Our web site is​ already in​ production and based upon our experience we can say that the​ Open Source Code softwares we picked,​ proved to​ be extremely reliable and stable .​
Open Source Code softwares can certainly be an​ excellent option for developing web sites.
Roberto Sedycias
IT Consultant
This article is​ under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the​ author .​
However the​ author´s name and all the​ URL´s (links) mentioned in​ the​ article and biography must be kept.

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