[racket] Serving multiple, read-only Racket versions?

From: Jukka Tuominen (jukka.tuominen at finndesign.fi)
Date: Mon Oct 24 12:06:49 EDT 2011

Dear list,

I wonder if it's possible to place multiple, read-only Racket versions on a
server and have users executing them directly without needing to install
them individually? I think this is possible, but I'd like to know for sure
that it won't cause any unexpected problems.

The idea is to provide Liitin users access to various future/past software
binaries yet keeping the client environment and Liitin engine uniform and
static, and relatively compact. To have it functional and
secure/confidential it should conform to the following characteristics:
- Content on the server is read-only. E.g.
(Version names are likely to be publishing dates to have uniform structure
in all provided software, and to allow common scripts to find the latest
version, for example)
- Client computer (Liitin UVM) is allowed to create temporary data during
execution as long as it doesn't compromise security of reveal confidental
information among users. All of this will be wiped away at the next reboot
at latest. Future use must not rely on this data.
- User's home directory can be used to store data and configuration
information between reboots and among several simultanenous user sessions.
Sessions can be on the same client or/and different clients. (Some programs
don't like multiple sessions accessing the same data).

Does this sound feasible? I understand that initial PLaneT libraries may
take time to download and are placed into home directory (version handled?).
Also, personal, user space installation is possible but less desirable in
this case, I think.

One possible threat is to manipulate source code with a newer program
version and make it inaccessible thereafter for the older versions?

Anything else?

Of course, this is not the recommended way to use Liitin, on the contrary
really, but it could be helpful to have wider range of tools available.

br, jukka

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