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Release It!, 2nd Edition by Michael T. Nygard

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Configuration

Every piece of production-class software has scads of configurable properties containing hostnames, port numbers, filesystem locations, ID numbers, magic keys, usernames, passwords, and lottery numbers. Get any of these properties wrong and the system is broken. Even if the system seems to work most of the time, it could break at 1 a.m. when Daylight Saving Time kicks in.

“Configuration” suffers from hidden linkages and high complexity—two of the biggest factors leading to operator error. This puts the system at risk because configuration is part of the system’s user interface. It’s the interface used by one of its most overlooked constituencies: the developers and operators who support it. Let’s look at some design guidelines ...

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