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From Andi Vajda <va...@osafoundation.org>
Subject Re: discussion about release frequency.
Date Sat, 18 Sep 2010 19:57:17 GMT

On Sat, 18 Sep 2010, Robert Muir wrote:

> Just my opinion: (personally i do not use maven, nor understand it).
> 
> If maven support is beneficial to bringing more devs to lucene, we should
> consider what we can do.
> But at the same time, perhaps Makefiles would bring more devs, too.
> 
> My problem with releasing with maven is that i could not honestly even +1 my
> own release artifacts, because i don't know what the hell is going on with
> the maven artifacts.
> 
> There has to be a way to let the "maven experts" take care of this stuff
> somehow, if its really going to be beneficial.

My - possibly flawed - understanding is that Maven brings in more users, not 
more devs. A dev needs to know how to build the software package(s) s/he's 
working on.

With PyLucene, for example, I've consistently refused to release binary 
packages as there are just way too many possible combinations of 
Python/Java/gcc/OS versions to do a thorough job.

Building PyLucene isn't exactly trivial on some platforms such as Windows, 
for example. I'm sure this has cost the project some users as the barrier to 
entry is a bit higher than it could be.

On the other hand, the users that remain at least have some understanding 
about how to build and debug a C++ python extension and that's a very good 
thing because a user is more likely to become a dev if they understand how 
to rebuild the software package they want to contribute a bug fix to, for 
example.

That being said, it is rather easy to build Lucene binaries using ant, so 
Maven at first blush doesn't seem to bring much. Where it becomes more 
useful is that in a situation where many dependencies are required before 
a particular project of interest that depends on Lucene can be built, a 
working Maven install takes care of the chore or bringing in all these 
dependencies.

For example, I recently did an experimental build of Tika for Python using 
JCC. Tika's Maven tricks pulled in a very large number - dozens - of 
dependencies that had I had to download and build them all by myself 
manually, I would maybe not have spent that time with Tika to begin with.

Of course, Lucene is quite the opposite. Besides a JDK (and possibly ICU), 
it depends on nothing else. The need for Maven support is less obvious there 
too.

The question about Maven support is then about how hard do we want to work 
to get more users, balancing that with how easy do we want to make it for 
them to become devs, contributors.

I agree with the consensus that seems to be forming. Lucene has plenty of 
users already, many of which are hopefully Maven savvy. They should help 
maintain and improve Maven support for Lucene.

+1 to keep the Maven code in the source
+1 to not release Maven artifacts

Andi..

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