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From Dennis Lundberg <>
Subject [all] What's in a distribution?
Date Tue, 02 Jan 2007 23:05:30 GMT

I've been looking at creating distributions for commons logging using 
Maven 2. So I did some reading on ASF policy regarding distributions and 
poked around in different commons components, to see if I could find a 
least common denominator.

Unfortunately I haven't. So I've got a couple of questions for you to 
think about:

1. What should a source distribution include?

2. What should a binary distribution include?

Reading the documentation for the assembly-plugin [1] for Maven 2 I 
found an interesting feature that will come in the next version. It will 
create an assembly (distribution) of "the entire source project, 
including the Maven POM and other files outside of your source directory 
structure, but excluding all SCM files and the target directory" and 
archives for it (tar.gz, tar.bz2 and zip). Now this sound to me like the 
ideal source distro. A complete checkout. Then it's up to the user to 
build, read or do whatever he or she feels like with it.

Who downloads a binary distribution, why and what for? Someone who 
doesn't use Maven to build their products. Because the don't want to, or 
don't know how to, build the commons component their selves. Because 
someone did all the building and assembling for them, i.e. they are lazy 
as in good lazy. So that's a broad audience we've got there.

What do they need? Well in the case of commons they want the jar of 
course. What else? Some documentation on how to use it, list of 
dependencies and such.

The ASF also has needs when it comes to licensing. We need to put a 
LICENSE and NOTICE file in there.

What are your thoughts on this subject?


Dennis Lundberg

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