[rfc] six-month stable release cycles

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 11:42:15 BST 2009

2009/7/30 Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at xemacs.org>:
> I looked into this for XEmacs, and it seems that making a decent
> Windows installer is a moderately big job, while Windows people who
> are capable of doing it are typically the kind of folks who have more
> than enough to do in their regular jobs, and get flack from their
> bosses for "wasting" time on volunteer work.  (That's based on two
> brief email exchanges, so take it with a grain of salt.)

It *is* actually possible to set up a reasonably stable automated
build process on Windows. The big issues with it are:

1. You really can't do it on your "main" system, as it's too painful
setting up an "isolated" environment which won't be impacted when you
install a new package into your Python installation, or similar.
2. Default scripting tools on Windows (cmd, notably) are hopelessly
primitive and the GUI bias of development tools means that the command
line environment is sadly lacking.

This really means that the only sane option is a carefully configured
virtual machine. But that in turn requires a Windows license and
probably MSVC licenses (for people without access to MSDN).

So, if you could find someone with the necessary time and expertise to
set up an automated build process, and put it on either a
shared-access Windows image, or on a VM image which could be
downloaded and used locally - and if the license issues could be
resolved [1] - then the build side of things could be addressed.

Once the process of building an installer has been automated, there's
still the issue John mentions, of collecting together the relevant
plugins, as well as testing, and keeping the infrastructure up to date
as Bazaar changes, etc etc. But in principle it's doable without too
much Windows expertise once things are set up.

[1] Microsoft are actually pretty supportive of Open Source. If
someone gets in touch with them and explains that it's to promote
Bazaar usage and development on Windows, they may be willing to help.

> Since Windows people seem to work only for money, the Chicago
> economist in me suggests that you should start a Bazaar Windows
> Installer Foundation, and as the donations rise, anybody who wants to
> grab the money can build an installer. :-)

Some of us do Open Source work for fun, but can't afford the tools we
need except at work, where we're expected to, well, work (and not
spend time reading mailing lists :-)) Open source users keep telling
us we should just switch to Linux to avoid the issues, so we do and
then don't know what to do about all those Windows users who can't
help us to fix things :-) :-)


More information about the bazaar mailing list