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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [proposal] a new kind of 'dist'
Date Mon, 24 Mar 2003 11:13:30 GMT
Niclas Hedhman wrote:
> On Monday 24 March 2003 17:25, Christian Haul wrote:
>>This is an open *source* project, and a couple of things are a lot
>>easier to do at compile time rather than at run time.
> Yes, like 
> ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/
> make
> make install
> for specifying installation directory, right?

Oh, please, that's not the case. Cocoon is *NOT* an application, it's a 
framework. Our users are developers. They *MUST* be. What's the point of 
having a joe-user-proof installation system to avoid them to open up the 
hood when they *will* have to take the engine apart anyway later?

> Need to think beyond the power-programmer... Even the casual programmer 
> struggles with configure/make systems, and often fails and leaves.

If the casual programmer is not able to do

  > export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/
  > ./ webapp
  > ./ servlet

that it does *US* a favor if he fails and leaves. Open source is not 
about market share, it's about solid communities.

BTW, do you seriously think that

  > export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/
  > ./ webapp
  > ./ servlet

is *SOOOO* more complex than

  > export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/
  > ./ servlet


I'm not saying to make it inherently difficult for people (rather the 
opposite, look how much energy I'm investing into this!) but to help 
them focus on the right spot and if this makes more people fail early 
rather than a few tens of emails down the road, well, I'm doing both 
them and ourselves a favor.

> Serious OSS definately have binaries in one form or the other. It is not a 
> "piece-of-cake" to compile source for everyone, and I think it should not 
> serve as the ENTRY-POINT for new users.

But all these are *product* *applications* *things you can run*. Even 
the linux kernel is something you just run.

Cocoon is a framework. Only the samples *just run* but then they leave 
you up in the air without knowledge on how to move forward.

It would be like shipping a huge linux kernel with everything compiled 
in, then forcing yourself later to take stuff apart to avoid wasting 
your memory.

The result: lazyness will force them to leave everything inside and they 
will not know the ability to build a customized version of their stuff. 
moreover, it will make it harder for them to become cocoon developers 
and come here and help us!

This is not a run for market share. This is about increasing our 
community and let's admit it: a binary installation won't make it any 
easier for joe-user to understand a sitemap anyway.


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