foundations and pillars

What you find below is a quote from an email from Jeff Gelbach on the opennms mailing list earlier this year. It’s a very well-stated fundamental fact of life.

If you want to build a house that is enormously adaptable and reconfigurable, you do that by making the foundation go down to the bedrock and using pillars instead of load-bearing walls to bear the weight of the roof. Then you can move around all the walls to suit your needs, because they’re all non-structural partitions. To have support for DNS names in place of IP addresses would be akin to making the foundation shallow and reconfigurable and every wall load-bearing — it can be done, but the foundation will not be as solid, and you might not be able to build a house with this design at all in a location that has sandy soil. OpenNMS has a deep foundation and a few thick pillars holding up the roof. The price you pay for the ability to move the walls around is that you’ll sometimes have a pillar in an inconvenient location. Hang some fine art on the pillar if its presence bothers you 😉

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By elyograg

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof. -- J.K. Galbraith

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