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Project Distribution Suggestions

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(my apologies if this is the wrong forum to ask this) Hello, I have a project I've been working on alone for a while that has a fair amount of dependencies on external libraries. What is the best strategy for distrubing my project? - I could include the source for all my dependencies and ask clients to compile and install them - I could provide instructions on aquiring the source for my project's dependencies and THEN have clients compile and install them - I could package pre-built binaries which satisfy my projects dependencies ----------------------------------- Distributing binaries (other than my own) makes me nervous that I'll violate some licensing agreement. Distributing source seems safer on the whole but I've got little experience to justify this feeling. It also seems safer and easier to tell people to "just compile and install what I gave you" vs. "did you get the correct version of _____ and is it a legit copy?" Then again if I tell clients to get ______ themselves my distribution package gets a lot smaller which would be a convinience to me. If clients already have some my depenencies installed not getting them again would save them some time. My project is open source where most of my dependencies are under the LGPL or GPL licenses. I've never done this. Please lend me some wisdom.

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I'll just package the source for all my dependencies and tell the end user the compile and install.

It's the simplest option for me and the end user and it will avoid any liability claims.

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Hey Simulacrum!

Quote:
Distributing binaries (other than my own) makes me nervous that I'll violate some licensing agreement.


Even with redistributable resources weighed down with royalties and legal mumbo-jumbo like the MP3 format, you should be able to redistribute whatever you wish freely as long as you are not profiting and/or plagiarizing patented/registered material. Notice several YouTube users shamelessly use other band's music as well as upload entire episodes of shows. People didn't like stuff like that, but... Anyway, I'm by no means well versed in the topic, but licenses like the GPL are just glorified and more legally sound ways of saying "I did this, with the help of Mr.X, Mrs. Y...". They also help you become recognized along with a community of developers under one agreement. Frankly, there's nothing to be nervous about if you read the licenses! At least then you know what you have to do to have the right to use the intellectual work for your projects. As someone who is working on free open source material, I think you have little to worry about. [smile]

For details from people who know more about this than me, head over to the Business and Law forum here and ask around about how you should pay your dues to 3rd parties.


Quote:
What is the best strategy for distrubing my project?


Couldn't tell you... That's something you probably should have planned.
There are indeed several outputs you can have, but since you do not list your dependencies we can't tell you what the "best" method is. Sometimes this is the case even if we DID know!

Personally, I distribute static libraries and inform the user of any run-time packages they may need via links. I have yet to write my first installer, so I tend to be lazy at this point. The method you use is completely your call, although someone else may have other advice to share. I'm a bit of a purist, so I have been sticking around with the STL, so I have not had anyone to recognize yet other than MS and the developers of the STL.

Hope this helps!
-Zyro

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Hello Zyrolasting

I have a lot of dependencies...

To name a few: boost, bullet, fmod, zlib, glew, glut, fltk, opengl, directx, colladom dom, nvidia texture tools etc.

I have a lot of dependencies...

I would never try to steal anyone's work but it would be pretty obvious I was wasn't reinventing the wheel whenever it wasn't necessary.

If I were to distribute a static executable it would be huge (I think) and I would like to take advatange of everything using DLLs/shared objects offers. I just think a static exe is not an option for me...but I'm flying by the seat of my pants here. I could be completely wrong.

...if only I knew how to make an installer or make use of autotools...if only and I had the time...

Licenses scare me. I've read up on many licenses and they still scare me. This will pass once I do this a few times but I've never distributed anything before directly so I'm trying to be a cautious as possible.

If you don't mind my asking can't you get busted for linking against someone's code and then distributing it in a binary? I meam that could classify it as a derivative work. I'm thinking of the GPL here.

[edit] - I'm not trying to make any money with what I'm distributing directly. The goal is to show I'm worth being paid to contribute to someone else's project if that makes any sense.

[Edited by - Simulacrum on November 9, 2009 9:37:12 PM]

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