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Re: Subversion 1.2 RC1 Binaries

From: Toby Johnson <toby_at_etjohnson.us>
Date: 2005-04-12 22:19:00 CEST

Johnson, Rick wrote:

>About 2 months ago I decided on my own to help plug this "huge hole" and
>build from source on a Windows machine. To make it "simple", I just
>wanted binaries, not packaged installers. After having invested about 35
>Subversion developers for this, I blame myself. I am not a C programmer.
>I program in VB.NET and C# all day. I use Visual Studio 2003. I am very
>familiar with those tools. I have no clue about the other tools required
>and what the compile errors mean. The number of dependancies to me is
>staggering and I'm not just talking about library dependancies (neon,
>apr), who would have thought I would need to install python to run the
>compile script.
>I'm not saying that the Subversion Developers should start doing a
>binary distribution but I suspect that there are a lot of Windows
>developers like me who love Subversion and are happy to poke at the
>product but who have no experience with the tools the Developers are
>using and can't figure out where to go next. Comments like "compile it
>yourself" do nothing for me since I've tried that and failed.
I think many Windows users have been down this exact same road.
Compiling Subversion on Windows is MUCH, MUCH more difficult than it is
on Linux. I spent an entire day once trying to get it to work... I also
am familiar with VC6 and VS.Net, I have tweaked and compiled many
packages on Linux, but I can't compile Subversion on Windows to save my

This problem seems to come up with each new release, and the knee jerk
reaction from this list is always "instead of complaining, quit being
lazy and do it yourself!" Compiling from source might be the norm on
*nix guys, but it isn't on Windows. Like it or not, Subversion will not
be taken seriously by many companies until it has official builds (with
an installer) for Windows. I'm lucky that no PHBs where I work saw the
position statement about "we only provide source, and usually some
volunteers provide binaries in a week or so". I *never* would have
gotten my department on board with Subversion if they saw that. It makes
it seem much more seat-of-the-pants instead of a stable, viable product.

I'm not saying that this is something that the core developers need to
take on, but it is something that needs to be managed better. Maybe this
falls under the "whole product" management that comes up from time to
time. The argument "if we do it for Windows, we need to do it for all
platforms" doesn't cut it -- no other platform has the market share that
Windows does, and the ones that come close have native, high-quality
compilers and build tools. I would love to be a proficient enough C
programmer to do this job but I'm just not, and this is the frustration
that the early-adopter Windows users feel.

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Received on Tue Apr 12 22:21:04 2005

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