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Re: geekyness and ESR's recent tome

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2004-03-02 21:44:38 CET

Lawrence Kesteloot wrote:

> The reason why such a good Windows installer came out before a Linux
> installer is that Windows developers realize that users need things to
> "just work".

Now I get to argue that /you/ missed the point. ;~)

The Windows installer doesn't need to worry about any existing libraries being
in the way, since all of the dependencies that Subversion relies on are pretty
much guaranteed to be absent on Windows. Hardly anyone is running Apache or
BerkeleyDB on Windows. Thus, it is a much simpler process (i.e. dump everything
into one installer and go).

However, all major Linux distros include at least a few of the dependencies
(usually Apache and BerkeleyDB) already, so walking the line between installing
the necessary version and not breaking existing code (again, Apache and BDB come
to mind) is a much trickier proposition.

And to emphasize another point again: THE RPMS ARE NOT OFFICIALLY RELEASED BY
THE SUBVERSION PROJECT! Each distro can and does mess with the package spec
files that _are_ part of the distribution. That is outside of our control. If
they need to be improved, the packager for that distro is the one who should be
working on it, and preferrably sending back those changes to be reintegrated
into the source distro.

Yes, installing by RPM is a pain sometimes (it's why I always build from source
these days). Yes, this will limit the early adoptors who cannot/will no build
from source. Yes, it will improve quickly, I think.


John Peacock
Director of Information Research and Technology
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite H
Lanham, MD  20706
301-459-3366 x.5010
fax 301-429-5748
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Received on Tue Mar 2 21:43:23 2004

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