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From "Robert Burrell Donkin" <>
Subject Re: KEYS file in distribution
Date Tue, 18 Mar 2008 21:06:45 GMT
On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 8:40 PM, Christopher Lenz <> wrote:

> On 18.03.2008, at 15:50, Robert Burrell Donkin wrote:
> > source distributions should be identical to the contents of version
> > control
> > when the release is cut.
> Where does this rule come from?

it's not a rule: it's a tautology ;-)

by definition, a source distribution consists of the contents of version
control compressed into an archive. anything else is a binary distribution.

I wonder because with CouchDB, source tarballs are created through the
> GNU-Autotools based build process, rather than being a raw `svn
> export` of the release tag. We don't keep the auto*-generated
> configure/make files in the repository (they are generated files after
> all), but do include them in source tarballs to limit build-time
> dependencies and make the build process easier for the user.
> I guess we could start checking in the generating build files into SVN
> if that's required. But maybe you can back that statement up a bit
> before we do so?

lots of binary distributions at apache contain source. this makes them
binary distributions containing source, not source distributions. it's fine
to distribute something along those lines to help users who want to be able
to build easily but it's not a source distribution. if it makes things
easier for users who want to build artifacts themselves, that's greats.

source distributions (svn exports) are aimed at developers so they can
create accurate diffs and contribute patches, not users. they are also
useful for downstream distributors who want to be able to accurately and
selectively apply patches. these groups should be able to build in the same
way committers do so they don't really need it easy. binary distributions
are for users, source distributions for developers.

- robert

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