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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [proposal] a new kind of 'dist'
Date Mon, 24 Mar 2003 14:23:57 GMT
Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote, On 24/03/2003 12.21:
>> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> ...
>>> I'm sure that if we don't give our users a sample precompiled version 
>>> it will have a really negative impact on the alpha-view of Cocoon and 
>>> stop many from checking it out, whatever technical motive you may have.
>> I *strongly* disagree.
> Why may I ask?

As I said earlier, cocoon is a framework (not a development framework, 
Steven, a *web* framework, java is just another way you can have your 
stuff to the framework, but not the most used one, I'm fully aware of 
that) but it's not distributed/marketed/painted as one.

And this hurts us.

> When I browse project on SF based on web stuff, if I find a precompiled 
> jar I shove it in Tomcat and test it. If not, I usually pass by.

How many of those 'web stuff' are frameworks and how many are web 
applications? for webapps (say a webmail, a calendar system and so on) I 
completely agree with you and would be with you to propose a war 
distribution, but for frameworks, I disagree.

> AFAIK many do so, and when I tell the ones I know to get the source 
> cocoon distro, they start to whine and don't do it.

Again: this is *NOT* the source cocoon distro. It would be *THE* cocoon 
distro. You simply have to say: download the distro and read INSTALL.txt 
where we'll make it *SUPER EASY* for them to be up and running in 5 
minutes... or even create their war if they want to deploy on their 
favorite tomcat.

So, you ask: why don't we ship the binary and avoid that step?

because *IF* they install the binary and like it, *THEN* they have to 
download the other distribution to tune it to their needs.

They don't know it, but I'm actually helping them.

Moreover, if they whine and they run away because of that, they 
autofilter themselves, which is a *great* thing since it increases the 
potential community signal/noise ratio.

> This is what I see, my small part of the world, so take it as MHO based 
> on what I see, nothing else.

all right.

>>> It's not a technical point, if it were only so we would be doing 
>>> releases by just tagging CVS probably.
>> I don't like your tone.
> I think you are misunderstanding my tone (and honestly I don't 
> understand why you don't like it).

It felt a frustrated and strident tone and I didn't like it. If this was 
not so, I apologize.

> I really think that CVS should be the only way of getting source 
> distros, and with SVN it will be easier (WebDAV access). The developers 
> should all see the same thing, and VCS is the only way of having 
> consistent views. If a dev needs to send a patch, he doesn't have to 
> download other stuff for example.

Nicola, in a perfect world, we would have totally isolated dynamic 
blocks with a super block manager and totally run-time hot-deployable stuff.

In that case, we would *NOT* need a source distro at all because people 
would be able to tune their stuff without having to run a silly 
XConfTool all over the place to patch a massive amount of xml files.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

So, right now, if we ship a binary, we ship a monolithyc black box.

on the other hand, if we release a *build-based* configurer/installer (I 
don't call it 'source distro' anymore because you people get blinded by 
that word and don't seem to really see about what I'm saying), those 
million xconftool patches are done for you and you can tune your cocoon 
for what you really need without futher hassle and no black-box-ish feeling.

In the future, when we have a more modern run-time driven (instead of 
build-time driven) block model, we'll move to binary based distros (with 
the power of WORA which is always nice), but for 2.1 I don't see the 
benefit of shipping one huge binary blackbox and tell people to download 
the source distro if they really want to tune their stuff.

Because nobody will do it and our effort to build a tuneable build 
system will be totally wasted.


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