[LAD] Releasing source code is not enough, I think...

Filipe Coelho falktx at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 16:47:13 UTC 2014

On 01/21/2014 04:40 PM, Philipp Überbacher wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Jan 2014 05:55:04 +0000
> Filipe Coelho <falktx at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi there everyone, specially developers.
>> I think we should stop assuming releasing source code is enough.
>> [GNU/] Linux is getting more user friendly, and most users are not
>> able to compile software,
>> plus some distributions make it specially hard (debian, ubuntu,
>> fedora, opensuse) by having the libs installed but not the headers.
>> Releasing software on windows or mac, even open-source, *always*
>> comes in a binary,
>> and most users come from there.
> Hi Filipe,
> I do think that releasing source code is enough.
> What is more important than binaries is to have a sane and properly
> configured build system. By that I mean standard tools like Makefiles,
> waf, scons, CMake or whatever is used nowadays with a sane standard
> configuration and the necessary switches to account for the differences
> between the distributions.
> I mean this in contrast to half-arsed and ad-hoc solutions. Just
> yesterday I spent the whole evening unsuccessfully trying to build a
> piece of software that uses a half-working CMake configuration combined
> with binary blobs of dependencies and a bunch of distro-specific
> shell scripts. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it got.
> Or take LuaAV, a piece of software I've tried to build twice during the
> last few years, unsuccessfully. They have a ubuntu-specific shell
> script to install the dependencies and a custom lua script to build.
> Stuff like that sucks, it sucks who just want to give it a shot, it
> sucks for packagers, and it sucks for people who want to contribute. A
> binary package would only help the first group, and that is assuming it
> works without problems on any system.

This point is exactly why I think binaries are needed.

> I don't think that 'magic binaries' that are easy to build and work
> everywhere are possible. If you are right and there are fewer
> technically inclined users and developers, we should conserve their
> time instead of wasting it on building distro specific packages.

There are no such thing as "magic binaries", nor have I stated I have them.

But I think *trying* to provide binaries is better than none at all.

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