Why is cpgf library delivered in zip file download than public source control repository

I've been asked several times if there is any public source control repository that the users can download from, such as git or svn. My answer was and will be always no. I would always stick to provide zip files for download.

cpgf library is a kind of product to the users

So the users don't need to know or care about how the library is developed, how the source code is maintained, or how the daily development is managed.
Though here “users” are also developers, from cpgf library side, they only use the library than develop on it, so they are users.

Users only need the final stable version of the product. This is same as the real world. When you are buying a car, you don't want to know in which pipeline the car comes from, you only care about the car itself.

With this opinion, a zip file download does the perfect work.

The advantage of zip file download

  • It's guaranteed to be stable release.
  • It's not affected by library developers' daily work. A developer can't delete a source file accidentally.
  • Everybody can use it. Just download in the browser then unzip it.

The disadvantage of zip file download

  • It's difficult to update in users' source control system. A new zip file usually means the users need to delete whole local copy and unzip new version there. This is because the users usually don't know what is changed in the zip file, such as which files are added, which are removed.

The advantage of public source control repository

  • It's very easy to synchronize the source code.

The disadvantage of public source control repository

  • The public repository is most likely not stable release. So the users take the risk of bugs.
  • The users need the proper source control client to get the code. Sometimes it's really painful. How about the users only know git while the repository is in SVN, or vice versa?
  • The developers need to spend time to merge from development branches to trunk.

Summary

I treat cpgf library delivery as product delivery, and I want to guarantee the product quality, so I will always prefer delivering in zip file download than public repository.

Discussion

VanWolford, 2015/02/16 09:17
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