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From Christopher Lenz <>
Subject Re: KEYS file in distribution
Date Tue, 18 Mar 2008 21:44:41 GMT
On 18.03.2008, at 22:06, Robert Burrell Donkin wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 8:40 PM, Christopher Lenz <>  
> wrote:
>> 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.

Maybe I didn't explain properly… our previous (pre-incubation) source  
distributions did not contain any binaries, only source. The  
difference between the tarballs and a source control checkout is that  
the former has some generated build scripts.

Looking into the HTTPD repos and comparing to the HTTPD source  
tarballs, they appear to be doing the same thing: there's a  
"configure" file in the source tarball, but not in the repos. In  
general I'd say this is common practice for any project based on  

> 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.

The generated source tarballs don't in anyway prevent developers from  
providing good patches. They contain the source plus some build files  
pre-generated for convenience (which can be regenerated from the very  
same tarballs nonetheless).

Also, again similar to HTTPD, the source tarball is actually the main  
distribution for users, too (except the Windows camp, which we don't  
support yet anyway).

Christopher Lenz
   cmlenz at

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