Why are the install processes so different?

Why are the install processes so different between products.

As an example I'm currently testing Jira and Confluence on a Linux system and I find

Jira is happy to install and run under root, but Confluence expects to have its own user, but does not set this up as part of the install. This leaves me having to look around for info on how to clean up the install.

When it comes to connecting to MySQL, Jira needs the jdbc jar to be placed in

<JIRA installation directory>/lib/

While Confluence docs state that the jar should be placed in down in

<Confluence installation>/confluence/WEB-INF/lib

or

<TOMCAT-INSTALLATION>/lib

Once this is done a Jira provides a nice GUI with a test option while Confluence forces the details to be reentered if a connection does not work.

Should there not be a focus over time of having these install processes converge so that there is a single logical process and structure?

2 answers

That would be nice, but a conscious decision needs to be made across product lines and that is not very common in the industry yet even after 65 years. Sometimes it just takes time to move an improvement through all the product roadmaps.

I beleive Atlassian is moving in this direction though with a common framework, plugin development and UI guidelines. Their mindset is in the right place to make this idea happen.

I would say that its more of a limitation of a development cycle that is driven by requests and votes. Once installed people are unlikely to vote to improve the install process. Those who fail at the installation stage are never heard from again.

The problem can be seen in the Confluence MySQL docs, which detail the idea that the system defaults of the MySQL server should be set to meet the needs of Confluence. Using that logic would mean an independent MySQL install per application. As I've done the DBA role in the past I can tell you that any developer asking for such changes would be turned down, and only if I had free time would I try and understand why they were asking. For Confluence there seems to be no real reason for such a change now (there may have been in the past).

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