Re: Replace K&R source dist. with binary dist [Was: libwww ]

[Again, your message didn't go to the list...]

In message <Pine.3.89.9407131652.B25291-0100000@falcon.cc.ukans.edu>, Garrett Arch Blythe write
>On Wed, 13 Jul 1994, Daniel W. Connolly wrote:
>> The rest of the users are just that -- users, and they'll be much happier
>> with a compiled binary distribution than a K&R C source distribution,
>> I wager.
>This is not going to work.  Lynx as it stands has about a kazillion 
>different little ifdefs that Lou left me with, so each compiled binary is 
>actually different than perhaps the one that I use for debugging which 
>has everything turned on.  The reason why the configuration is at 
>compile time is to leave out some security problems that some people 
>simply don't want to deal with, ever.

Shame on Lou. #ifdef's are evil. But certainly 80-95% of the world's
lynx users are using the same combination of #ifdefs anyway.

I expect that two or three compiled versions of the code would suffice
for the vast majority of the user population: one with all the gaping
security holes wide open, one with all of them turned off, and one
somewhere in between.

>Precompiled binaries suck.  They don't give the person installing full 
>control of the options provided (for security) and they can't set it up 
>specifically for their system.

These are not insurmountable problems. A well designed product has
all the installation-time and run-time switches needed by its customer

Folks who aren't willing to wait for supported configurations can
get the source and build it, of course, but they'll need an ANSI C

I think this is the best way to provide quality software to the
largest audience. Witness the explosion of Linux.

>I also don't have access to all the machines that I would need to provide 
>a Lynx binary for, which is every UNIX/VMS/DOS box on the globe.

But: do you have access to _one_ person using each platform who has an
ANSI C compiler and would be willing to provide binary distribtions?
That's all you need.