I'm not suggesting a rewrite of the code based on it's maintainability or the amount of effort required to fix bugs. I suggest a rewrite because a lot of the concepts used in these systems are antiquated in and of themselves. Not to mention training people on systems like this is a huge undertaking because of the way the environment has been modeled, and a lot of times, trying to change the concepts behind a large bulk of code just doesn't work out to be as cheap as a whole rewrite. These systems aren't well understood by its users and that is a problem. You can't pick people up off the streets and pay them the typical airline pay and expect that type of person to learn and use these systems effectively. Having said that, I actually enjoy using a lot of these systems (most of my coworkers find them scary and painful to use), but I would definitely like a lot more consistency across the various programs that the airlines expect their employees to use. I don't know if a whole rewrite is required, but from an end user's perspective, some really big changes need to be made.
This is pretty much what is killing it. I've made a post about SHARES already, which is a United system, but it seems to be pretty popular to use old systems in the airlines and I imagine SABRE is in a similar state. SHARES was originally just a reservations system, but they've tacked all sorts of modules on to it. For instance, SHARES has an extension for WorldTracer(for tracking bags,) a cargo tracking module, a module called FOMS for flight tracking, and all sorts of other cruft. They've built some GUI wrappers for some bits and pieces, but none of them are worth mentioning. So, most ticket agents are still doing everything through an archaic command line interface to a mainframe. The software also does more things in the core module above and beyond just reservations too, like flight information so gate agents can track flight statuses. Personally, I think they are going to run into a wall with the extensibility of the system in the next 5 years and a lot of airlines are going to be playing catch up with their IT systems. Most of them just need to be redesigned from scratch. It would probably make for a better customer experience and make it a better workplace for their employees.
I'd imagine it's because no one wrote any documentation when the software was created, and none of the airlines have anyone dedicated to tracking what documentation was written. So, everyone is standing around looking at a terminal trying to figure out what's going on with no idea where to even begin.
I currently work for Silver Airways, but as I've experienced first hand, almost all of the airlines software system's suck some major ballsack. None of the airlines have undergone the massive rewrite that their reservations system need and they just keep bolting on more pieces of crap code to these ancient systems. United uses SHARES, and so does Silver Airways, but 2 different versions of the same software, and to make things worse, ours is rented off of Island Air and not a single human being can fix any of the stuff they need to do. The Silver Airways version doesn't even handle baggage charges in a decent fashion, forcing their employees to build a reservation just for a bag fee. It's always great when you have a functional TELEX printer that you can't use because not even the IT department can figure out how the hell SHARES is trying to route output. Personally, all the airlines are damned for not spending any money in updating reservations systems from the late 70s and early 80s. If you anyone is interested, you can basically trace all of the airlines reservations systems back to a company called EDS, which was at one time owned by Ross Perot.
I believe you are correct. My idea was the same, but terminology incorrect. There are plenty of options supplied by Gentoo to solve this problem. I've tried some of the more challenging routes with varying success. It's even possibly to create your own separate portage tree independent of the Gentoo stuff with your own packages and still use portage. The article is just plain wrong and instead of blaming the distros for his problem, the author should get some education and the proper tools for the job. I don't know why people are so afraid of Gentoo.
I've been using it for almost 6 years as my primary desktop and laptop OS. Never had an issue like that, but then again, I take the time to search for critical bugs before I update, and considering this situation is supposed to be used for multiple VMs, it's not like rolling back to a previous snapshot is hard, minimal testing before deploying is assumed.
Don't be a pansy. Use Gentoo. Quit bitching about not having the features you want, or having features you don't need. Need to deploy a bunch of VMs? Just create your own portage mirror, remove the packages you don't want to be available, create an overlay for things that aren't in portage and to deploy your own meta package, for shits and giggles, since you seen to be so fascinated with binary packages, build all the packages you want, create binary packages for everything, then deploy to a VM. Once that's done, just copy the base VM image every time you need to deploy a new VM, then log in, run a portage update and quit whining. Hell, I'm sure you could even create your own packages for deploying binary kernels. I'm so sick of this, "My linux doesn't do what I want because I'm a (insert your distro here) fanboi."
Using a database would be a cool option, but he could also write a Hadoop Map/Reduce job to transform the various input formats into a standard XML format that he could then load into the Apache SOLR search server. It'd save a lot of time trying to mess with the SQL for the search function. Also, he'd get basically free replication if he set up a small Hadoop cluster...
TWM is fantastically usable... I'm using it right now because a libpng update broke half of my Gentoo box.
Price maybe? Batch files are free...