Re: OVC's free/open-source voting software

From: cls <cls_at_truffula_dot_sj_dot_ca_dot_us>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 10:36:23 CST

It seems reasonable to me that an organization claiming expertise in
and advocating general use of free software for a public purpose
should offer a demo of some kind in source form. And that demo
should be installable on and work on the most common free platform.
It doesn't have to be this week's snapshot from a public development
repository. It might require half a dozen popular *-devel.rpm
or *-dev.deb packages to get through ./configure, as long as those
package names are mentioned in a release note. That's how these
things are done, as far as I can tell. I'm not asking anyone
to drop current projects, just pointing out something that I thought
should be obvious. I hope it seems reasonable to readers of
this list.

I interviewed for a job as a Linux system administrator this year.
More than half the hiring managers asked me how I might install
a software product that wasn't packaged for my distribution.
The correct answer was essentially "tar xzf tarball.tgz, read the
release notes and install any prerequisite -devel packages, then
./configure && make && make install." (Of course there followed a
discussion of security issues and reputation of software sources, arguments
to ./configure, etc, but that was the short answer.)
And if the tarball doesn't build, it's a strong indication the project
"isn't ready for prime time." That's how standard that procedure is.
Lack of its availability pretty much locked me out of contributing to
OVC's efforts over the last few years. I'll bet I wasn't the only one.


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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:07 2008

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