[sword-devel] Remote Module Repository Wiki

Matthew Talbert ransom1982 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 4 18:09:48 MST 2010

I know this has been an area of disagreement in the past, and I'm not
intending to start any sort of argument, but just share my experience.
Among the businesses I work with (mostly small operations), there is
almost no familiarity with FTP at all, and in many cases (in the
larger ones), FTP is often blocked both incoming and outgoing. Many of
these are Windows environments with IIS for a web server. Looking at
the skills of these organizations and their IT departments, setting up
an FTP server would not be the ideal choice of deployment. Especially
when it comes to things like mods.tar.gz which require tools outside
their normal tool range. A much more ideal repository format for these
types of organizations, would be that used by jsword. It just requires
a simple HTTP-accessible directory, in which a bunch of zip files are
dropped. Ideally there would be one file with a list of what's

Again, I'm not arguing what should be done, or even what is the most
common setup, but in my experience the current requirements of setting
up a repo with FTP would not be the ideal solution for people with
little IT experience. And as we have discussed before, it is difficult
to find good FTP hosting on the web, and challenging for users to set
up. It is much simpler and cheaper to find HTTP hosting.

I know we now can access repos over HTTP, but it seems to me quite
fragile. It depends on Apache's directory listing, and even running it
through Squid (or other proxy servers) completely breaks it. I haven't
tried it, but I suspect using IIS would completely break it as well,
as it has a different directory listing.

So, our repo setup guidelines are not really very simple at all, but
pre-suppose a wide variety of things like "client and server must not
be behind proxies", "client and server must have FTP ports open",
"server must be running apache for HTTP access", and so on. I'm afraid
these sort of requirements are going to cause difficulties in getting
other organizations set up, if they have IT departments and
environments anything like what I see daily.


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