Friend or enemy we're all to blame

Friday, 24 November 2006

There has been an interesting thread on the debian-isp mailing list talking about control panel software for virtual hosting.

I’m biased against several of the available control panels, but there are certainly times when I wish there were a simple solution or two which I could try that didn’t involve throwing away all my current setup and migrating all at once mail, web, etc.

I’ve ruled out several systems due to :

  • Lack of roadmap.
  • No support for software I like
    • exim4, for example.
    • No simple way to customise modules enabled on a per-domain basis. (PHP is icky and I don’t want it.)
  • No real predictable support, or development activity
  • Security issues
  • PHP issues.

Every now and again I think about updating my hosting scripts such that they could be driven by a graphical control panel. But each time I get this thought I decide against it because:

  • I too mandate certain software and that might not sit well with potential users.
  • Most of the hard parts of a control panel are the GUI/presentation
    • I suck at making “pretty” interfaces/sites.

The other reason not to do it is that I have a system which is portable, well understood (by myself at least!) and isn’t hard to migrate away from if I wished in a piecemeal basis.

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