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From Jeffrey Liu <jeff...@ca.ibm.com>
Subject Proposal for a centralized Eclipse update manager site for Apache projects/software
Date Tue, 03 May 2005 20:12:49 GMT
Hi,

This message was originally posted to the general@incubator.apache.org 
mailing list. Someone pointed out that such discussion should be carried 
out here instead. So I'm re-posting the original message here. Here it 
goes:

I want to propose a centralized Eclipse update manager site for Apache 
projects/software. Reason I propose an Eclipse update manager site for 
Apache projects/software is because Eclipse projects such as the Web Tools 
Platform (WTP) project often reuses software that are provided by Apache, 
for example, Axis, Tomcat, Derby, etc... Often times, these Apache 
software are not redistributed by the Eclipse projects, but instead, they 
are listed as prerequisites. This means, end users must first download the 
Eclipse project and all the Apache software prereq by the project, and 
configure these software in the Eclipse project before they can get 
started. This is error prone and hampers the out-of-the-box experience. 
Imagine the following scenario:

A user downloads WTP. Unzip it and starts it up. S/he wants to create an 
Axis Web service. S/he launches the wizard that creates a Web service, but 
finds out s/he needs Tomcat and Axis. So s/he opens up her Web browser, 
goes to the Apache Web site and looks for the download page for Tomcat and 
Axis. S/he downloads and unzips Tomcat and Axis to the file system. Goes 
back to WTP and manually configures Tomcat and Axis into her workspace. 
S/he launches the wizard again and move on.

This is not easy. If there's an Eclipse update manager site for Apache 
software, then when the user finds out s/he needs Tomcat and Axis, all 
s/he needs to do now is launch the Eclipse update manager (URL to the 
Apache update site will be preloaded), select Tomcat and Axis and click 
Finish. The Eclipse update manager will download, install and configure 
Tomcat and Axis automatically. This is much better than asking the user to 
download and configure things manually. Also, this Eclipse update manager 
site is useful when new versions of a Apache software is available. For 
example:

Say Eclipse WTP 1.0 ships with Axis 1.2 support. If later on, Axis 
releases a critical fix for Axis 1.2, then without an update site, we'll 
need to do one of the following...

1. Rebuild WTP 1.0 with the Axis fix
2. Ask users to manually update WTP
3. Wait for the next version of WTP.

None of the above sound attractive. If there's an Eclipse update manager 
site setup for Apache, then end users can search and install new updates 
automatically by making just a few clicks. I believe this can advance the 
integration between open source software that are provided in different 
domains (Apache, Eclipse, etc). I think this will benefit the open source 
community and can grow the open source ecosystem.

Suggestions/comments are welcomed.

Thanks,

Jeffrey Liu

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