[darcs-users] darcs patch: cleanup default boring

Max Battcher me at worldmaker.net
Mon Oct 13 06:00:50 UTC 2008

Trent W. Buck wrote:
> I've actually tried to do this, and it rapidly becomes painful as soon
> as you have more than one architecture, or more than one ABI, or even
> wildly different versions of libc.  I think keeping convenience copies
> of binaries like liblua.la -- as opposed to a convenience copy of the
> source (lua/*.[ch]) -- is a false economy and should be discouraged.
> I suppose there might be a case for it in the proprietary community if
> you don't actually have access to the source of middleware libraries
> that you're linking to.  I don't have any experience in that community.

Not quite the "proprietary" world, but certainly in "managed language 
land" (ie, .NET/Mono, Java) there tend to be more use in 
convenience/source-controlled binaries (due in no small part to the 
cross-architecture nature of VM-targeted binaries).

One school project of mine has a copy of C5.dll, which is distributed 
(and I believe GACced) in Mono, but not in Windows.  To include the 
source would be to bulk a (currently) 4-source file project to something 
in the low 60s (I believe), and requiring it to already be GACced (akin 
to dll-registration or library path installation, but with strict 
platform-level side-by-side version control) is a bit much for a low 
level requirement in a school project meant to be built on a wide 
variety of systems.

The big project for "work" (a very small startup) has 3 .dlls from an 
external dependency in the darcs repository.  My company currently only 
has access to binaries for these libraries, and the repository is as 
good of a place to store them as any.  Plus, these libraries are on a 
monthly update cycle with the occasional API breakage so having them 
under source control has already proved to be invaluable (like using 
darcs' cherry picking to temporarily roll back to a previous month's 
library upon the discovery of some unexpected regression).

> So: I advocate binary extensions remaining boring by default, at least
> until someone gives a strong real-world use case for changing that.

Considering you can manually darcs add something that matches boring, I 
certainly agree that binaries should be boring by default.

--Max Battcher--

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