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From Christopher Cain <>
Subject Re: Sources in Binary Distributions
Date Thu, 02 Aug 2001 15:43:41 GMT

Loïc Lefèvre wrote:
> In my mind, there is one argument to let the source code in the binaries:
>      "To enhance myself tomcat when nothing else can help you."

That's what the source distribution is for :-)

> I (and I'm NOT alone) have encountered many problems using Tomcat and
> thus there are good answers to good faqs, I had to resolve some problems...

I'm sorry to hear that your've encountered *many* problems with Tomcat.
If by problems you mean bugs, I'd be interested in knowing which
versions you've had difficulties with so that we can address the issues.
Are we talking about previous milestones, or the more recent betas? Are
we talking the 3.x branches or 4.0? I know I speak for all Tomcat
developers when I say that we want to produce the finest server on the
planet, and if people are having what they consider to be excessive
problems, then we'd love to hear about it so that we can build a better

If you're talking instead about usage and configuration problems, then
that's a documentation problem on our part. I know the docs are not what
they could be, or even *should* be, but if you follow the dev list then
you know that we are working on it. I think you'll see a vastly improved
documentation bundle for both branches in the next few months. Just hang
in there ;-)

> (and I've got some not resolved...)

If you mean bugs, then I hope you're reporting them in Bugzilla, right?

> and without the sources I would not have choose Tomcat...
> Consider I'm a developper responsible of the migration from Apache JServ
> to Tomcat, there are 9 other people who will hear about tomcat... so now
> Imagine:
> me  -> 9
> 10  -> 90
> 100 -> 900!!!
> and I work in a little enterprise!
> So think about it...

I don't think you'll get any arguments here, on an Open Source developer
list, about the importance of having the source code available. I just
don't think that anyone is well-served by having the source code crammed
down their throats. Some people believe in Open Source, and they like
the fact that it is available for review if something should arise, but
they aren't necessarily interested in having it forced on them. If they
chose to downloaded the binary release, with the link to the source
release right beside it, then they obviously didn't necessarily want the
source code at this time. If they want to at any future time, there's
little chance they don't know where it can be had. I just think it's
rude to include the entire source tree when someone explicitly chose the
binaries, since they obviously had their reasons from not clicking on
the source link.

In any case, I'm glad to hear that you recommend Tomcat, and I hope that
you'll see most of your problems resolved in the coming months. With a
vastly improved documenatation bundle, and with both trees closing in on
an official release, I think the future looks bright indeed!



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