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From Peter Donald <dona...@apache.org>
Subject Re: consistent directory structure
Date Fri, 09 Feb 2001 04:11:00 GMT
At 10:27  8/2/01 -0500, Richard Hensh wrote:
>Perhaps this question belongs in another newsgroup but I pose it here since
>it might be of some interest.

definetly ;)

>I've downloaded several of the packages from the Jakarta Project (and
>xml.apache.org) and have been dismayed to discover the absence of a
>consistent directory structure. For example, ECS stores some jar files in
>the top level directory and some are in the "lib" directory. The ORO project
>doesn't even have a "lib" directory. Xalan places all of their jar files in
>the "bin" directory.

In a phrase "No shit" ;) The biggest complaint I got was inconsistency in
build process. This goes beyond directory structure although. If you have
ever tried to build multiple versions of some projects on jakarta you will
see that they each wipe out each others directories/distributions. Worse
some projects require following arcane instructions to build things (ie
download version 2 of libX, setup env var to point to it, and use command
line parameter Y). This of course assumes that the product is buildable,
the instructions are present and accurtate (which is not always the case).

>On a related issue, a routine search for ant*.jar indicated that I have 6
>copies of various versions of this file (one each for fop, ant, ecs, oro,
>xalan, and xerces). Since I have installed ant, is this really necessary? It
>seems like it could pose a problem?

The problem is that there is multiple incompatable versions of ant and
getting the right version is sometimes impossible. Some projects still use
ancient tomcat derived ant, others use CVS snapshots etc. It is going to
get worse in the future as the original inventor of Ant has forked of his
own incompatable version that he intends to compete with Apache Ant.

There is an initiative to do continual integration ala tinderbox by Sam
Ruby and if that is as successful as I hope it will be then I think at that
stage it may be possible to keep one copy of ant across all projects.

>Is there any effort under way to standardize the directory structure? Are
>there distributions (of any of these) that avoid the overlap.

I would love to see that happen - unfortunately I can't see it ever
happening - at least not in short term future. A while back I wanted the
same thing and surveyed all projects to see what requirements were, made
notes and tried to pick the best bits out of each project. (If you want to
see end result then you can look at build structure in
java.apache.org/avalon).

However I have been told at various times by members of the Jakarta/XML
PMCs (ie the people who could actually institute such a change)
* wait till there is interest in it
* don't bother it will never be accepted by some
* no interest in that
* it aint broken - why fix it
* I never put in enough work to get it done
... etc ...

I don't ever plan to put in any such effort again where it is obviously not
apreciated but if you want to try and change it then you will have my
support. To get it going I would email the general@(xml|jakarta).apache.org
mailing lists. However make sure you have thick skin as there is a lot of
people who believe their build process is the "One True Way" ;)


Cheers,

Pete

*-----------------------------------------------------*
| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |
*-----------------------------------------------------*


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