distributing Java source : Java Glossary


distributing Java source
There are three basic ways of distributing Java source code to other people:
  1. In a zip file. Make sure you stick to the original PKZip format and avoid any proprietary super compressor WinZip formats.
  2. In a jar file. The advantage is all Java platforms can handle jar files. The disadvantage is source code jars could be confused with executable jars.
  3. Using the Replicator. This is the simplest of all for your end users. All they need do is a couple of clicks to download the most recent changes. It does not give the fine control of a version control system however.
  4. Via a version control system. You need a version control server on the web, usually Subversion but possibly the older CVS. This allows programmers on any platform to pick up source code changes incrementally. With zips they must download the entire package if so much as a comma changes. Visitors can also fetch older versions or an experimental beta branches, all from the same source tree.

    If you write open source code with standard open source licence legalese, then sites like SourceForge will be happy to host you free of charge. If you use a custom licence, like my non-military use only restriction, they probably won’t talk to you.

    The problem with hosting a Subversion server on your local desktop is you can’t very well keep it up 24/7 if you are constantly rebooting. Also your uplink speed will give fairly pathetic performance to your visitors downloading source.

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