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From Mark Hammond <skippy.hamm...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: (lack of) couchdb windows binaries
Date Thu, 01 Apr 2010 09:54:10 GMT
On 1/04/2010 8:17 PM, Carl McDade wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I have been trying to use the Windows binaries of CouchDB but find that the
> installer creates issues that never get mentioned. The first concern and one
> that should be fixed is the distribution and linking of the Erlang binaries
> in the install. There should always be an option to use the Erlang
> installation already on the machine. Hard linking the install to the
> packaged Erlang binaries will almost guarantee non-use of the installer and
> a subsequent hunt for a way to compile CouchDB seperately.

I'm afraid I need to disagree here - this issue has been raised so 
infrequently that I simply can't accept it as fact, especially given the 
number of "happy user" reports we have seen.  There is no evidence that 
the way we are packaging will "guarantee non-use of the installer" - do 
you have references to anyone else suggesting this is true for them or 
anyone else?  Indeed, I've seen so few reports of Windows users building 
from source that IMO it is patently false.

I personally think our strategy is perfectly reasonable.  My experience 
with many Python based binary releases backs this up - eg, tools such as 
mercurial, bit-torrent, miro, spambayes, etc are distributed as a binary 
distribution on Windows and includes the full Python runtime - I'm not 
aware of any requests for such tools to allow for an already installed 
Python to be used with a binary.  Some people do choose to run from 
source for various reasons, but the vast majority - even those with 
Python already installed - are completely happy with the way the 
binaries work.

Finally, providing an all-in-one installer significantly reduces the 
support burden for the project - there is no chance that user-installed 
bits and pieces will conflict with the install and cause erroneous 
error/support requests to be raised.

I'm curious - why is this important to you?

> My second concern is the lack of user defined paths for the installation.
> This also will cause many to uninstall and wait.

The installer allows you to select the path you want to install into, 
and the normal couchdb mechanisms for overriding individual directories 
such as the data directory (ie, modifying the .ini files) works 
perfectly.  In this regard I don't see Windows as being at all different 
than other platforms.

On the other hand though, I *do* see that being able to specify the data 
directory would be a nice feature - but not a critical one that will 
impact couchdb adoption on Windows.  Are there other directories you are 
concerned about?

Maybe you just want this spelt out better in the installer readme?

> What should be remembered is that Windows users that are installing CouchDB
> want the same options that they would get when installing an RDMS. If these
> are not available then they will move on and never give any input so quality
> assurance is lost.

As above, I see no evidence this is true for anyone other than yourself. 
  I understand some of these things might be nice to have, but I would 
need some evidence before I could accept they are a general concern 
shared by a significant number of potential users.

Maybe you could take this to the -user list and see how many people 
agree this is critical rather than merely a nice optional feature?

> Hope I did not step on any toes here :)

Not at all - although I simply can't agree with your conclusions :)

Cheers,

Mark

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