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How to make the Windows binaries easier to find on svn's main page

From: Eric Hanchrow <offby1_at_blarg.net>
Date: 2007-10-18 17:13:39 CEST

People on #svn often ask "where can I find a Windows command-line
client?". They either cannot find the package for Windows, or, worse,
aren't even sure if one exists. I suspect this is because the layout
of our web site is too complex.

Here's what someone has to do to find the Windows package:

* Notice the "Downloads" link on the left side of the main page
  (http://subversion.tigris.org/). Granted, this isn't too tough :-)

* Scroll through rather a lot of (to them, irrelevant) stuff on
  http://subversion.tigris.org/project_packages.html until they see
  "Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003"

* Read a bunch of stuff about Apache and Berkeley DB that may well be

* Choose between these options:

** Win32 packages built against Apache 2.0
** Win32 packages built against Apache 2.2
** ... a friendly Installer program (I suspect this is what 80% of these people really want)
** CollabNet Subversion
** VisualSVN

* If they chose "Win32 packages built against Apache 2.2", they now
  have to scroll through a long list
  of files, of which the one they actually want is either not present
  at all (if they want an installer package), or is present in
  multiple versions, scattered apparently at random through the list
  (if they want a zip file containing the binaries)

* If they chose "Win32 packages built against Apache 2.0", they're in
  luck: the package they want is the third item on that page

Now, I realize that none of this is rocket science, but it strikes me
as being more complex than it could be -- and (in Karl's words) raises
a "barrier to entry". Therefore I suggest:

* On project_packages.html, move the "friendly Installer program" item
  to the top of the list that it's in

* Sequester older versions into an "older versions" folder, so that,
  on the two pages I cited above, people see only links to the latest
  version, plus that one "older versions" folder

* Ensure that the *-setup.exe files always appear first in the list
  (they are in fact first in the list now, but I don't know if that's
  because of a policy, which would be good, or if instead they appear
  there merely by chance, which would be bad)

* When a page has no *-setup.exe files, as is the case for binaries
  built against Apache 2.2, give the coveted first spot to
  svn-win32-x.y.z.zip, pushing less-needed files (such as the Python
  bindings, development packages, and so on) further down the list

* Provide installer packages for Apache 2.2 binaries. I realize that
  these are contributed by volunteers, but since we're presumably
  auto-building Windows binaries anyway, would it be that hard to
  incorporate an installer into the build?

* Have three links on the front page -- http://subversion.tigris.org/
  -- that say "download now for Windows, OS X, Source", leading
  directly to the latest installer for Windows, .dmg for OS X, and
  source tarball, respectively.

I don't know how hard it would be to do all of the above, but I
strongly suspect it would make the lives of our Windows users easier.


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Received on Thu Oct 18 17:25:36 2007

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