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A Rant on the Direction of ClearOS, Apps and the Marketplace

Something about this new "apps" paradigm ClearOS has entered has been gnawing away at my subconcience ever since I wrote my little critique on 6.3. In a post on the ClearOS forum regarding missing IPsec support I think I was able to finally articulate the off-ish smell that has been driving me mental.

kfox:

I can't seem to find the IPsec app for ClearOS 6.3

I see the paid "dynamic vpn" app in the market place and it appears to reference an independent IPsec app.

The Dynamic VPN app is an extension to ClearOS's IPSec VPN app. The service allows IPSec to be used in situations where either one or both of the gateways are on a dynamic IP address issued by the ISP or in cases where instability using unmanaged IPSec tunnels exists.

Herballizard:

http://www.clearfoundation.com/docs/release_info/clearos_community_6.2.0/final_release_information

PITA

kfox:

The unmanaged IPsec tool has been unmaintained for a few years and was dropped in version 6. It's open source, so if someone wants to revive unmanaged IPsec, go right ahead.

Yeah I love the whole "It's OSS, you do it if you like it so much!" attitude at the same time architectural decisions seem to have become increasingly marketing-driven. If it was too much trouble to update the old IPsec module why not cut out all the paid bits of the for-profit Dynamic VPN app? Smells a little fishy.

Maybe I will make it. If you hire me. Unfortunately, I have to put food on the table and the people who pay for my time have very little use for a webconfig interface once I have it rolling. Being someone who has contributed little more than some help on the forums and a couple VM images I wouldn't be so whiny if this wasn't a functionality ClearOS didn't already have at one point.

I'm beginning to question the logic of continuing to use ClearOS when I have to do so many things myself; I'm a Gentoo admin so it goes without saying that I love to do everything myself - but I use this crazy, neat little redhat system because it used to save me countless hours and let me respond to network crises quickly.

It feels like the foundation has cut off its nose to sell its face. A lot of stuff seems to be missing or half baked just so they could roll out this new "Marketplace" paradigm in time for RHEL 6. A paradigm which itself rubs me all sorts of wrong ways.

It's a shame they gambled on buzzword dollars rather than building on an already great platform. I hope I'm dead wrong; that the gamble pays off and we end up seeing a whole bunch of quality third party "apps" from the community but the sad truth is that functionality was always there and we didn't see a whole lot of participation back in the day (and I'm not pretending to have been any help!).

On the surface, it looks like this new app framework was designed mostly with the intent to make it easier for paid services to be integrated. I wonder which kind of apps the Foundation staff members will be focusing most of their attention on now. They certainly don't seem worried about the lack of a free IPsec app despite every crappy embedded router's support for it and highly critical Advanced Bandwidth rules have been bumped two versions (so far!).

Oh well, I know only too well that we all gotta make that dolla. Maybe the corporate makeover (and hopefully increased revenue that follows) is what Clear needs to propel itself to new heights of greatness. I sincerely hope so.

UPDATE You should really read the thread; Dave Loper did a great job of explaining why things have gone this way and what the path forward looks like. I'm a lot more optimistic now.

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