Open source projects that do not provide an easy-to-find stable build will find usage low.

“The ant-ogg open source library was designed to play a tune when the ANT build completed.  The project had been going for many years and was technically a great solution - even a candidate for inclusion in mainstream ant project.  However to use it at all, a developer had to follow a complex process:

  • become a member of the CVS project by registering

  • check out a copy of the source

  • work out how to build it with a specific classpath

  • manually copy the resulting .jar into the ant/lib folder.  

At least it had a build.xml file, but the manual processes required to use it meant the barrier for acceptance was too high.

The competing open source project ant-mp3 was technically deficient, but it provided a stable .jar for easy download via its homepage.  The ant-mp3 jar team increasingly won prestige and donations, had complimentary articles written about them, got invited to conventions and were given Sun Microsystems caps to keep.  To keep!!”

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