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From Arun Katkere <>
Subject RE: Sources in Binary Distributions
Date Thu, 02 Aug 2001 15:28:14 GMT
I don't generally throw in my $0.02 into a well worn thread and add to the
noise , but there is another issue which I didn't see anyone bring up.

Having source around helps you with debugging. And if that results in better
bug reports, i.e., instead of "it doesn't work and here is the stack trace",
you get "it doesn't work because you didn't check for null around this line
of this file", it is probably worth it.   Keep in mind that many of Tomcat
users are competent Java developers. And we are not talking about the entire
build system here. Just the basic .java files. Not even native components
(which don't aid in this purpose). Sun's Java2 SDK includes the source (just
the .java files) for I suspect the same reason.

Personally, I download the source distribution only when there is a critical
issue in Tomcat that we need resolved now, and patch and build with that
fix. Source in the binary on the other hand is useful for many reasons even
if you discount the "first step towards getting people involved" argument. A
quick check of some aspect of servlet/JSP spec(without going through 100s of
pages of PDF). Help quickly identify whether the issue is with Tomcat or
your code. All on machines where you typically don't have the full
development environment set up (when we are talking about JSP and not

Of course, one can always download the "source distribution". So, if you are
set on saving folks a few seconds (or minutes) of download time at a slight
cost for those of us who do find it invaluable, that's fine.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob S. []
> Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 4:19 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Sources in Binary Distributions
> > I'd like to second that.  I am currently not involved in any active
> > development, but looking at sources contained in a binary dist is
> > certainly the first step towards getting involved (its on 
> my list (o:  )
> So you *expect* the /src dir in a binary dist?  That's 
> mind-blowing to me.
> If you're interested in TC development, your first thought 
> isn't "Time to go
> d/l the src distro" it's "Time to d/l the bin dist so I can 
> check out the
> src" ?
> I'm not making a huge stand here, I thought bringing up the 
> suggestion was
> almost common sense.  It's a "bin" dist, i.e. !(src 
> included).  I wouldn't
> expect it to be there <shrug>
> - r

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