I like the trick of using Makefiles. We ended up having a very paranoid
set of bash script controlling the process. Make is of course more
conservative on failures by default.
The purpose of make was two-fold. One is to have things stop on failure. More importantly for me though was that my script run hourly and I don't want them all to run every hour. I only want each script to run if its data has changed. I also want the modularity of make targets so I can run "make hourly" to get the important data across (eg new accounts) but run "make daily" to get a more complete (ie slower) sync late at night.
My take at the moment is that a few sample scripts to get people
started are the key part. I'll be embellishing them slowly with
tried-and-true bits, and people can run away with them, and customize
them to their needs. Not all in life is abstraction, regardless of what
the OOP pundits want to sell.
Perhaps you're right. It seems like it would be handy for people to be able to use a simple bash script to add a set of users from a file. If a few command line utils like "mdl_addusers" were available, that would make life simpler for them.
Anyway, I'll plug away with what I have and see where I get -- time permitting and so forth.