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Re: Removing external binaries from Axiom source tree: a proposal (was:

From: C Y
Subject: Re: Removing external binaries from Axiom source tree: a proposal (was: Re: [Axiom-developer] Axiom silver branch)
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 07:50:25 -0700 (PDT)

--- David MENTRE <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hello Bill,
> "Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:
> > Storing binary files in a source code archive is something that
> > I have always objected to, but Tim insists on re-distributing
> > code this way. I really think we should stop doing this.
> I can understand Tim point of view: do not depend on external sources
> and manage complexity by providing the "Axiom-blessed" versions of
> noweb, gcl, etc.

This is true to a point, and indeed I think this is how many
applications on Windows work, but Linux distributions tend to not work
this way and I think that is a good thing.  Debian in particular
handles these things well.  I think a compromise solution would be a
good idea.
> One possible solution to this issue would be:
>  1. remove noweb, gcl, etc. sources from axiom source tree ;
>  2. put them in a repository somewhere on ;


>  3. write a shell script, much like GARNOME for Gnome ou Konstruct
>     for KDE that fetches source dependencies from axiom-
>, build them and then build Axiom itself. 
> This script could be a separate one or be part of ./configure (e.g.
> with option --fetch-and-build-dependencies).
> What do you think of it?

I like it.  I think the cases break down as follows:

1.  Linux.   Varies by distribution, but in general there are systems
in place to handle external dependencies and it is expected that
applications will work this way.  I think Axiom itself should go ahead
and rely on external dependencies, but the degree of "external" doesn't
have to be fixed depending on the situation.  A shell script to either
retrieve the required files from a CD or download them from the web
sounds like an excellent idea.

Incidently, I just now noticed the Axiom+Aldor binary on the downloads
section - thanks, somebody!  It turned out I was abile to build it
myself but I'm quite glad to see that there.  I notice, however, that
we seem to still be distributing the Sept2005 source tarball as the
primary source build?  Should we update that?  

2.  Windows.  Windows builds of just about anything open source tend to
be painful in the extreme, and I don't think we should worry about how
"easy" this is for casual users and developers - the usual worry is
whether it's possible for EXPERTS to build it.  For windows, I like the
idea of a "make install.exe" script which downloads, builds, and
packages everything needed.  Then we can debug the logic in that on a
per-version basis (at least, this always seemed to happen with Maxima
releases)  As a first approximation the main motivation to do a
complete build of Axiom on Windows is probably for distribution
purposes (and I notice our Windows binary is very old, so this hasn't
been done in a while) so I think that focus would be a logical one. 
Most Windows users don't compile applications at all.

3.  Mac we can worry about once its working, but I think they have a
fairly standard way of doing things?


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