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[Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library
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Date: 2004-04-27 (18:05)
From: Brandon J. Van Every <vanevery@i...>
Subject: [Caml-list] CVS labeling (was Re: Proposal: community standard library project)
Gerd Stolpmann wrote:
> This is quite difficult. The simple part is to download with cvs, but
> then? As cvs software changes frequently, but the package makes
> assumptions about the software, it is uncertain whether the
> build and/or
> packaging will succeed. I mean, in general, without knowing the
> software.

Well, for CVS in any old state, you must assume failure.

You could collect statistics on how often a given project's CVS
repository will actually build, and how often it works even if it
builds, but the latter is a permanent grey area.  What's a showstopper
bug?  It's a qualitative judgement... I suppose you could have people
vote on how bad a given CVS package is, but that presumes enough use and
enough voting for it to be relevant.

Does CVS have a labeling capability? i.e. mark all files in the
repository at a certain point, so that files can easily be recalled at
that point later?  If it's easy to do, then you might cajole open source
project admins into actually labeling their CVS repositories at points
of relative stability.  This still depends on project discipline of
course.  But definitely less discipline than making official stable
release packages.  Open source projects tend to drift on forever with
stuff getting added into CVS.  Making official release packages is a
chore that most people don't like.  Also people have trouble deciding
when the official release should happen and meeting the goals for it.
Volunteer labor and all of that.

A label also doesn't mean 'stable for everybody'.  It might work fine on
Linux but not Windows or Mac.  So ideally, a label would also state what
platforms it builds on.  This information could be wrong or not
submitted, however.  So, then you'd need to roll back to the next
earlier version.  Wet, lather, rinse, repeat until the darned thing
builds, or until it has gone too far back for the user to be interested

Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA

"We live in a world of very bright people building
crappy software with total shit for tools and process."
                                - Ed Mckenzie
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