B.O.F.H. (or distributing clue to others)

Those who have been following my recent posts will have noticed that I’ve yanked one I posted last night on getting munki managed computers to upgrade their OS and skip the FileVault 2 pre-boot screen. There are two reasons for this, one technical and one not so technical.

The technical reason is that despite my attempts to keep things like passwords (!) confidential, I was informed politely by one person and not so politely by someone else that munki caches pre and post install scripts in the .plist file it generates for every package imported into it. These .plist files are not only accessible from the munki deployment server (understandable since that is basically a web server and not much else), but it’s also cached locally on the target computer itself.

Cached until the next refresh of the local munki client. Or perhaps longer. I am unsure as the munki technical documents are lacking that precise information.

The non technical reason boils down to something more fundamental in the OS X admin community. There are three types of people in our community.

1) Those who are trying to get by, do our jobs and perhaps learn from others.

2) Those who actively help the community in whatever way they can.

3) The zealots with an axe to grind.

Type no.1 you will find in all walks of life and i’ve been that person myself. I learned from watching others, reading articles, general experimentation and basically being self motivated to learn a lot of stuff very quickly. It’s a factor of my contracting background: sink or swim. I prefer swimming.

Type no.2: These are people like Rich Trouton, Ben Toms, Jacob SalmeraLachlan Stewart and others. These guys are AWESOME! They go out of their way to post and help when they can, not only via their blogs (linked) but also via places like #jamfnation on freenode IRC. They post their solutions and code for free on places like github.

Did I say these guys are awesome? Well they are, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both Rich and Ben.

The last bunch are the people who make the community an unpleasant one and after today, i’ve got zero fucking time for them. These are the people who believe that everything should be done their way and you’re a fool if you disagree and have told me so. They also are firm believers in the Richard Stallman toejam eating mentality of “free open source solutions or death”. If it’s pay for, it’s evil type shit.

I stand on the basis of the right tool for the job. I don’t care if the tools are paid for or free, I just want my shit to work as it means less work in the longer term and the less angry people who come to me, the happier I am at the end of the day. I like being happy. I dislike being wound up to the point where my home life is as stressed as my work life.

(small break here: my father spent many years working for a company that treated him like crap and over the years I saw this, he became more and more miserable. After he retired, it took around eight months before he was back to how I remembered him in the 1990’s).

This shit has to stop. The Absolute Manage community is pretty decent. The JAMFNation community is one of the best and most helpful places online for help, and if JNUC 2014 was anything to go by, more proof that while JAMF does make missteps they do their best to correct them. Hell, they actively listen to their customer base and I can vouch for that personally.

S0 with the exception of exactly TWO people, why is the Munki community so fucking confrontational? (I know those two people have privately bemoaned this as well). It’s actually repellant in a way. I worked at a UK university that considered Munki for a time as part of their systems refresh project and rejected it due to the dominant personalities in that community and how they treated newcomers.

This authoritarian bullshit has to stop. So if it’s not become obvious on the IRC chats already, I am acting like a mirror for people’s attitudes now. If you’re polite and nice to me, you can expect the same in return. The bad manners I’ve had from some people will be given back and probably worse. I take no pleasure in it but some people need to learn a fucking lesson and realise that acting like spoilt overgrown children isn’t doing them any favours, nor of the toolsets they champion.

I will be taking a break from the mac IRC channels for a while. This is partly because of my own insane workload before I leave my current employer, but also because I find it very creepy that one person in particular decided to read back through from 4 – 12 hours worth of IRC logs and then give me shit this morning.

And thus this blog post was born …