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Re: [XBoard-devel] Installer

From: Eric Mullins
Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] Installer
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 23:25:29 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090817)

Arun Persaud wrote:
Eric wrote:
Face it. Winboard is an advanced program for relatively advanced users. You can try to make it easier for them by bundling, but I don't think that's really the job of the winboard project. And I don't see it having any significant impact on "winboard market share." I'm not sure that's really a concern of the winboard project anyway.

Since I'm only using xboard, my opinion doesn't really count I guess ;) anyway, 
the way I see it is that bundling a lot of extra software in a nice installer 
can't hurt and it seems as if you already got most of it bundled and HGM seems 
to have finished the gold-pack(tm) installer. Seems like the effort wasn't 
really that much to get the installer working, so I say we should use it...

My problem is just associating the winboard project with extras that we need permission to bundle or to host on git. I don't have any problem with the installer itself (I'm happy to assist when possible). I have less problem with software we don't need permission to distribute, but still that includes timestamp and timeseal which are both closed source.

Basically by bundling, we are tying winboard with certain software, essentially choosing which versions to include. I realize end users can change, for example, polyglot to one they like better. But this situation is analogous to Microsoft bunding IE. Other browsers are hurt that way. Similarly, other polyglot forks suffer if we decide to make our own custom one. This is a different problem than requiring permission, but equally valid, IMO.

One question would be if we should use the GNU homepage to ship the installer 
or if we should just put winboard.exe up there and have a link to the WBforum 
(or some other place) for the gold-pack(tm) installer (and tell everyone to use 
that link)... that way we would run into no problems with GNU and non-GNU 
software. Might be the cleanest solution if it is ok to host the installer on 
the forum... which I guess should be ok, since the old versions of winboard 
were available through it too AFAIK.

My recommendation would be to not ship the installer, or ship one more like 4.2.7 which carries no distribution issues. Plugging the Gold Pack on the website seems fine to me though. Ideally, creating task oriented tutorials should be present on the website. [How to run an engine on FICS. How to run an engine tournament. How to run UCI engines, and maybe even specific howtos for some commercial engines, etc.]

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