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From Jeff Trawick <>
Subject Re: distributing encryption software
Date Sat, 19 Oct 2002 17:31:39 GMT
Pier Fumagalli <> writes:

> On 19/10/02 14:35, "Jeff Trawick" <> wrote:
> > 
> > I can't install Solaris 8 from a recent enough CD-ROM set that has
> > sendfile if I want to do Apache 2.0 binbuilds which are usable by the
> > general Solaris 8 user community (you can't even download
> > sendfile+prerequisites without a maintenance contract last time I
> > tried).
> Hmm... You can download the latest version of Solaris, boot from the CD, and
> for PACKAGE in `pkginfo -r /a` ; do pkginst -r /a /Products/$PACKAGE ; done
> (expand the obvious bits where the stuff wouldn't work)...
> Basically you're going to replace the whole OS with a new  one, or you can
> just replace a couple of packages (SUNWcor and SUNWcorx)... Ok, it's a hack,
> but what the heck! :-)

but that isn't something that somebody wants to do to a production
server just so they can pick up a security fix; and if it is one of
the many people for which doing their own build of Apache is
non-trivial, they should be hesitant to do that anyway

> > Heck, even with Win32 there aren't many people who can do binbuilds,
> > and that is particularly bad when a security fix is announced and
> > everybody looks for the same one person.
> And given that MSVC costs $$$$$, the problem gets bigger...

yep; and just look at the price of Sun's or HP's or IBM's compiler

> > If there were money ("thanks for downloading the latest Apache binary
> > distribution for your platform; would you care to contribute a few
> > euros towards the generation and availability of what you just
> > downloaded?"), it would be possible to maintain a set of machines
> > running the appropriate set of system software to enable binbuilds to
> > be reliably built for the largest possible audience.
> > 
> > If a loosely affiliated group ("unencumbered friends of Apache") could
> > accept contributions and maintain a rich set of binbuilds of Apache
> > with/without SSL support, a lot of users would be happier and a lot of
> > PRs could be closed with less hair turning gray but without breaking
> > the user ("I'm sorry you are encountering this particular build SNAFU.
> > It works fine for a number of people on that platform.  There is a
> > trusted binary build for your platform available from
> >").
> > 
> > More than what you were interested I'm sure, but there are other
> > frustrating aspects of binbuilds than just the encryption issue.
> Well, I don't think that you need $$$, the only thing you really need is
> hardware (for the builds), bandwidth (for downloads) and time (to build)...

and software... vendor compilers can cost much more than a used, older
generation hardware box but depending on the platform they get along
with libtool better and/or generate significantly better code than the
free compilers

point well taken, but money can ease the life of the volunteers...
sure, you can put "help, the drive on our HP-UX build machine
died... can anybody send us one?" but it is much more efficient for
volunteers to have a slush fund that will buy exactly the right new
drive in a heartbeat rather than wait for some unknown individual to
send in something...  sure, volunteers can go nag all their contacts
for a free copy of a Microsoft compiler or an AIX box or whatever, but
with so many people (particularly Win32-ers), making use of binary
builds, it seems that with small contributions from some of them a
better "product" could be provided


My view is that we could provide a much better binbuild service than
we do today, and that it is reasonable to ask for contributions to
cover the real costs so that the volunteers only have to worry about
preparing the consistent set of binbuilds when there is a new release
instead of wasting their time haranguing their friends and other
contacts trying to scrounge up this vendor compiler or that piece of

Jeff Trawick |
Born in Roswell... married an alien...

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