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From Christopher Cain <cc...@mhsoftware.com>
Subject Re: Sources in Binary Distributions
Date Thu, 02 Aug 2001 02:57:31 GMT
Quoting Fabien Le Floc'h <flf@operamail.com>:

> As a tomcat user, I am not so enthousiast about your idea of removing
> the sources from the binaries.
> 
> Almost every user download only the binaries. Having the sources inside
> means bringing more developers to the Tomcat project, just because it
> will be easier to take a look at the sources (since it is already
> installed in their tomcat dir). The more you look at the sources, the
> more you are likely to be involved.

I have to disagree here. I can't imagine that someone who is not interested in 
source code would suddenly become interested just because we sneak it into a 
subdirectory, and especially not on a product as sprawling and complex as 
Tomcat. I can barely figure out in what class and in which directory a 
particular piece of functionality is implemented myself, and I have a pretty 
decent handle on the project. That's certainly not an indictment of the 
developers, it's just the nature of such a complex application (and it would 
certainly be completely inapproachable if not for some of the brilliant minds 
who design the core of it :-)

In a less ambitious project, I would probably agree. But with Tomcat, to say 
that your average user would incidentally become involved in source development 
by casually perusing the code is a bit like saying that your average person 
would become an enthusiast of Epic Neoclassicism if we left copies of Paradise 
Lost lying around their apartment.

> The sources are only about 2MB and 1 directory. It is anything but a
> mess on the harddisk. Furthermore it is the exact sources for the
> particular binary the user has, not some more recent or older sources.

Again, I would have to respectfully disagree. Anything lying around in my 
production systems that doesn't need to be there is, in my opinion, a mess. 
True, 2M is not alot of space by today's standards, but if every single OSS 
product I use suddenly decided to ship source with the binaries, that would add 
up rather quickly. And it's not even really the space ... it's just the thought 
of source lying around everywhere. Just like I don't junk up my source 
directories with binaries (-d is our friend ;-), I don't like my binary 
directories being junked up with source. Call me pedantic, but I like my source 
where it belongs and my bins where they belong.

As for version confusion, I don't really see what that buys you. I've got my 
dist target pointing at a test machine, because I'm not keen on testing my code 
on a production site. Once I've satisfied myself that my changes are solid, I 
copy the whole tree over to the production system. If I forget to delete the 
source dir on the production box, two weeks later I find it ... and what have I 
got? Is it my patched source? Did I ever copy those changes over, or is that 
the milestone build with the milestone source? I know what's on my development 
box, but what source is that? It doesn't really matter, but then again it's of 
absolutely use either.

Anyway, that's just how I feel about source in my binaries. As always, I could 
be wildly wrong, YMMV =)

Regards,

Christopher

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