One natural division in user documentation consists of splitting instructions you use once from instructions you use again and again. In a theoretical software life cycle, you only install or upgrade once, but you may backup and restore many times. Hence we tuck install and upgrade instructions in an Installation Guide we barely expect readers to scan. We then feature backup and restore instructions in an Administration Guide we expect will be well-thumbed, full of notes and bookmarks.
Yet for those of us primarily working with software rather than maintaining software operationally, installs (and uninstalls) turn out to be what we do more than anything else. Open source software increases the likelihood we spend even more time installing and uninstalling, as no evaluation method beats trying the software out for yourself.
Barriers to install and uninstall — buy before you try, or the sheer difficulty of getting things up and running — no doubt hurt software quality beyond installation, too. Bugs hide under cover, in the shadows.
OpenDJ‘s quick setup install (and quick uninstall) makes it easy not only to set up a new server, but also to configure OpenDJ’s killer feature: built-in data replication. You can set up several OpenDJ servers to mirror each others’ data, all in a few wizard screens per install. You can then tear the servers down by using ./OpenDJ/uninstall, which pops up another wizard screen by default, an perhaps an rm -rf OpenDJ/ if uninstall cannot remove all files. You may also find a keystore containing self-signed certs under $HOME/.opends. Yet overall adding and removing OpenDJ repeatedly does not leave a mess. Plus although in production OpenDJ can scale to serve millions of users, an OpenDJ evaluation with default settings can be done with less than 100 MB disk and 256 MB free memory, both of which you reclaim completely on uninstall.
Take a test drive starting from http://www.forgerock.org/opendj.html.
(Cross-posted from http://marginnotes2.wordpress.com/.)