The tail end of this week was mostly spoiled by the discovery that libbeanstalkclient-ruby was not included in Wheezy.
Apparently it was removed because the maintainer had no time, and there were no reverse dependencies - #650308.
Debian maintainers really need to appreciate that no official dependencies doesn't mean a package is unused.
Last year I needed to redesign our companies monitoring software, because we ran out of options that scaled well. I came up with the (obvious) solution:
- Have a central queue containing jobs to process.
- e.g. Run a ping-test on host1.example.com
- e.g. Run an SSH-probe on host99.example.com
- e.g. Fetch a web-page from https://example3.net/ and test it has some text or a given HTTP status code.
- (About 15 different test-types are available).
- Have N workers each pull one job from the queue, execute it, and send the results somewhere.
I chose beanstalkd for my central queue precisely because it was packaged for Debian, had a client library I could use, and seemed to be a good fit. It was a good fit, a year on and we're still running around 5000 tests every minute with 10 workers.
It looks like we'll need to re-package the Ruby beanstalk client, and distribute it alongside our project now. That's not ideal, but also not a huge amount of work.
In summary? Debian you're awesome. But libraries shouldn't be removed unless it can't be helped, because you have more users than you know.