If you're a system administrator, what you really want is a stable operating system with long-term support, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). If you're a system programmer, what you really want is the latest and greatest program. What to do!
In the case of RHEL, you can use Red Hat's optional Red Hat Software Collections. The newest beta update, Red Hat Software Collection 1.1. brings the latest Web development tools, dynamic languages, and open-source databases to developers working on stable RHEL.
This collection, available now for programmers with up-to-date RHEL subscriptions, offers the latest, stable versions of such languages as Python and Ruby. It also includes the most recent editions of database management systems (DBMSs) including MySQL and MariaDB.
With Red Hat making the MySQL fork MariaDB its default DBMS in RHEL 7, it's time for DBMS developers to start getting their hands dirty with it. Although RHEL 7 was expected to appear in the 1st quarter of 2014, it's a good bet now that it will be unveiled in mid-April at the Red Hat Summit in San Francisco.
This beta also brings the following:
- Two new open source HTTP server options in the form of Apache HTTP Server and Nginx (available as a Technology Preview)
- PHP 5.5, a server-side scripting language designed for web development
- Ruby 2.0 and Rails 4.0, which for the first time will be packaged separately, providing developers with access to an updated version of Ruby without requiring the installation of Rails
- MongoDB, a high-performance open source document database and leading NoSQL database that provides high availability and easy scalability
- Thermostat 1.0, a tool for monitoring Java virtual machine (JVM) instances on multiple hosts
That may be great news for developers, but I can't blame system operators for looking at these releases with a suspicious eye.
For those administrators, Red Hat would like to assure you that "individual releases of Red Hat Software Collections are supported for three years." In other words, this is a compromise that brings developers the latest hot tools, while also giving the administrators the security they need to deploy programs with confidence.