Red Hat Updates Software Collections

Red Hat today released the first point update of its suite of dynamic languages, open source databases and Web development tools known as Software Collections.

Launched last year, Collections assembles the newest and most stable versions of open source runtime components and delivers them more frequently, on a lifecycle that is separate from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The company plans to offer a major release of Collections every 18 months, with minor releases at around nine months.

This separate release cadence is something of an acknowledgement of Gartner's Pace-Layered Application Strategy, which is, as the Web site puts it, "a methodology for categorizing, selecting, managing and governing applications to support business change, differentiation and innovation." Software Collections falls in the "Systems Differentiation" layer, explained Langdon White, Red Hat's developer advocate for RHEL and newly appointed platform architect for the user experience -- which demands a different lifecycle.

"These are the applications and sort of Web-ish languages that need a major upgrade every three to five years," he told ADTmag. "But this isn't just about giving developers the latest and greatest of what's out there. It's also about using our own intelligence and involvement in these open source communities to make sure that we give them something that is production ready. Think of it as the latest that's stable."

The software assembled in Software Collections 1.1 have been verified by the company on RHEL, White said, and so may deployed on the Red Hat Linux distro "with confidence." The suite comprises several dynamic languages, including Ruby 1.9.3 with Rails 3.2.8; Python 2.7 and 3.3; PHP 5.4 and 5.5; Perl 5.16.3. There's a technology preview of Node.js 0.10, and support for four open source databases: MySQL 5.5; PostgreSQL 9.2; MariaDB 5.5; and MongoDB 2.4. Also in the suite are Apache HTTP Server 2.4 and a technology preview of Nginx 1.4.4; and Thermostat 1.0, a new tool for monitoring Java Virtual Machine (JVM) instances on multiple hosts.

Ruby 2.0 and Rails 4.0 are featured in this release as individual collections, which makes it possible for developers to install an updated version of Ruby without having to install Rails, White said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].