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

Hi all,
	Lynx-devers, this is for you also, we're talking about the 
language choice (full ANSI C or continue supporting K&R C too) to be used in 
libwww (CERN's library for the WWW which Lynx uses); to be used in light of 
our C++ discussion (RE: lynx future.....)

On Thu, 14 Jul 1994, Daniel W. Connolly wrote:
> In message <Pine.3.89.9407131652.B25291-0100000@falcon.cc.ukans.edu>, Garrett Arch Blythe write
> s:
> >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.

Right.  I'd assume that they are.  The vanilla build is most generally used.

> 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.

Probably; the details are not worth explaining.  Your point is obvious.

> >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
> base.

Yes, they aren't insurmountable.  What can I say?  I don't want ANSI C to 
cause my users less grief; as I said some only have K&R C; Many of 
the people I talk to daily are interested in the source and not the 
precompiled binary.  This is not such a bad thing.

We as developers want ANSI C to clean up the code/make it easier to read;
a very very good thing. 

I want to hear a clear decision about wether or we should be using ANSI C
and to stop supporting K&R C in libwww. I want to know that libwww is
going to be in ANSI C so that I can stop worrying about the ARGS macros
and start coding ANSI C myself. 

And mainly for the Lynx-devers:

> 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
> compiler.
> 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.

Okay, truth be known I want parts of Lynx in C++, as soon as I hear the
decision you are going to pass down regarding ANSI C, may be a big factor
on my decision. 

If I have to go ahead and make contacts with people to make me pre 
compiled binaries just for ANSI C, why don't I just go all the way and 
find people to make C++ binaries for me for the people without a C++ 

Many of my users don't have ANSI C; many more of them also don't have C++.  
But I am sure one of them has a C++ compiler for every different 
OS/Version.  Any takers?


Trodden Soil

I am trodden soil.
Dust covers my face.
Soles crush my nature
Revealing a hard empty space.

Garrett Arch Blythe  (913)864-0436
User Services Student Programmer/Consultant
University of Kansas Computer Center