Patching GNOME

Oops, we've done it again . . .

Two days off in a row, happy happy joy joy, I'm compiling all those
latest nifty releases, except . . .

Compiling gnome-core-1.2.3 *fails* because we're missing a PNG pixmap.

I know I raised this issue a few months back--and probably for most
folks it's probably a moot point since they're installing Helix
code--but has anyone given any thought on how we should handle patching
sources when we're including new or updated *binary* files?

Granted, I was able to use Bonsai & LXR to drill through the CVS tree to
grab the needed file, but that's not, in and of itself, a solution. I'd
like to offer 2 possibilities and throw them out for discussion.

1) When making a diff archive available in conjuntion with a new
 version release, if any binary files (particularly PNGs) are updated or
 added, they should be made available in a parallel binaries archive.
 For example:
 PROs: If handled correctly, makes it *very* easy to update, since you
 simply patch from within the parent, then untar the bins "patch"
 withing the same parent.
 CONs: Might be confused with a "binary" distribution. May require manual
 compilation and therefore be spotty at best.

2) When releasing a diff archive, include an html file with links (via
 the html CVS repository) to all new & updated binaries).
 CONs: Places the burden to obtain the files on the user.
 PROs: This can probably be generated from a script, so will be easier to
 prepare & maintain. Plus, if multiple files are affected, they'll all be
 in the list, so the user will make only one "trip" to DL the needed
 files, instead of several as compilation breaks at each point.

Any other ideas? Pros or cons I missed?

Let's face it, binary distributions are great for users, but the bottom
line in Free Software is still source code. If only for those who create
the binary distributions and those who *must* compile from source
becasue no binary distribution is available, I feel we should correct
this (occasionally) glaring issue.

'Course, it would be nice for Slackers like me, as well.

OTOH, we *could* abandon PNG and go back to using XPM, which has the
virtue of *being* source code . . . nah--I didn't think so. ;-)

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