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Which option parser? (was Re: cmd line stuff)

From: Lee Burgess <lefty_at_red-bean.com>
Date: 2000-10-19 16:22:51 CEST

Matthew Braithwaite writes:
> On Wed, 18 Oct 2000 16:17:57 -0400, Greg Hudson <ghudson@MIT.EDU> said:
> >
> > Of course, this point is moot if we use autoopt. I'm not
> > quite sure where that decision lies; Bruce Korb and company
> > seem very gung-ho about it, but several of the people who have
> > previously done work on Subversion expressed reservations
> > about bringing in a separate external tool for such a small
> > problem.
>
> I think those reservations are well-founded. I have walked away from
> software many a time because it required me to download and install
> six separate libraries. Since Subversion is not a vanity project but
> something that we hope people will actually use, it's important to
> keep the amount of energy required to try it out as low as humanly
> possible.
>
> Now, Bruce says that Autoopt can easily be bundled into other
> software. If there is no impediment to putting it in the SVN
> distribution, as opposed to requiring it as an external library, I
> have no worries about using it.

I have to agree with Matthew here. I also have walked away from
software for similar reasons.

Conversely, being the maintainer of a "vanity project" in Perl,
several times I received mail from users complaining about how my
software required so many modules. Now, this may not be the same
since the installation of Perl modules can be much easier than source
code especially if one uses Debian (or FreeBSD?) or the CPAN module. As
it turns out, of course, most users don't use Debian or don't know
about the CPAN module. Even if they did, it *still* takes time and
effort to get that extra software.

On the other hand, it *was* Perl. And I'll be damned before I
reimplement code that is already written because some whiny user
doesn't want to visit his local CPAN.

So this is just a real-world example illustrating that we want people
to actually use SVN. It is best to make installation as simple and
easy as possible to same time and effort on the user. We should also
be thrifty with our own time and effort by using code that already
exists where it is appropriate to do so.

-- 
Lee P. W. Burgess  <<!>>  Manipulate eternity. Power is a symphony:
Programmer         <<!>>  elaborate, enormous, essential.
Red Bean Software  <<!>>  Dream the moment with a fiddle in summer 
lefty@red-bean.com <<!>>  and a knife in winter.
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:12 2006

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