re-rolling PDFs and HTML archives of version "1.6" of book withot changing file names

Stefan Sperling stsp at
Tue Nov 1 10:01:27 CDT 2011

On Tue, Nov 01, 2011 at 10:40:21AM -0400, C. Michael Pilato wrote:
> Red-bean probably does have the space, but I'd prefer not to engineer a
> solution to something that I can't convince myself is actually a problem.
> Why would a distributor need to roll their own tarball?  Just grab the
> latest from the stable red-bean URL, rename the thing with the datestamp at
> which your grabbed it, upload it to your dist server (just as you would
> after having built binaries of Subversion), point your distribution metadata
> at it, and be done with it.  If you do that, then there's one tarball on
> your server that is known to be useful to an entire large body of users,
> instead of 50 of them sitting on red-bean for which 90%+ of them are
> disinteresting and unreferenced by anything.

That is one way of looking at the problem. It shifts the burden away
from us (the upstream project) to distribution packagers.

The problem packagers perceive is that their entire build infrastructure
is geared towards software releases. Having stable upstream releases is
the normal (and very convenient!) case.

For instance, in the OpenBSD port of Subversion (not the book -- there
is no port of the book on OpenBSD), a version upgrade is usually as simple
as adjusting the version number in the port's Makefile, running 'make fetch'
(this fetches the new distfile), and 'make makesum' (this updates
checksums stored alongside the Makefile).

If upstream does not provide releases with stable names, what you
suggest is the required course of action. But whenever someone
maintaining a port on OpenBSD (or FreeBSD, for that matter) faces
a situation like this, the initial course of action is to ask the
upstream project to provide stable releases.
This is actually recommended in the OpenBSD porting guide (I'm quite
sure FreeBSD has similar policy):
  Ports normally correspond to given versions of software. Once they are
  retrieved, files are checksummed and compared to the recorded
  checksum(s) in distinfo. So, to avoid confusion, DISTFILES and
  PATCHFILES should have clearly visible version numbers: don't retrieve
  foo-latest.tar.gz if it is a link to foo-1.0.5.tar.gz. If necessary,
  gently ask the original program author to make such distinctions clear.

So I see your point, and I also see Lev's point and understand why
he is enquiring.

> (I'm sure I'm coming across like a total jerk.  That's honestly not my
> intent, and I'm trusting you know me better than that, Stefan.)

Hah, no worries! :)

If you don't want to do the work, Lev will have to cope somehow.
That's fine. It's not like you didn't have more important stuff
to do than this.

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