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size matters?



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September 29, 2006 3:21 pm

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i remember, in my high school days, once spending most of my money that i earned during a school break period on a new 20MB hard disk for my PS2 computer. since then the world has dramatically changed as far as storage capacity is concerned. but still i keep asking my self: does size really not matter anymore? our current designer build is >400MB in size! please help me understand how this affects your usage of designer.i would like to know whether:

- you don’t care because you have a broadband internet access and assume the rest of the world has it, too

- you think it’s pretty big but you still download it whenever you need it, even once a day if necessary

- you don’t download as often as you used to when it was less than 200mb in size

we want the designer community to keep downloading the latest nightly and milestone builds so that we get the necessary feedback to improve our product. if the size keeps you from following us from milestone to milestone, this is a serious problem for our development model which relies on you downloading our latest builds.

please provide us honest feedback and, if you want, ideas how to improve.

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13 Comments

  1. Volker – an interesting post.

    My take is that something like Designer is similar to ‘Visio’ or other technical architecture tools. They are large; but they are full of great functionality.

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  2. By:flyingGuy

    Well….

    Like most things horribly BLOATED this is the begining of its end. I have a 384K DSL connection and its a 3 hour download. I have A version, and I dont think I am going to be downloading another version. Downloading service packs is one thing, but having to download the ENTIRE flipping program everytime you guys shoehorn in yet another 100 megs of PURE fluf, just so we can have pretty pictures? I think not.

    Some developers have this notion that everyone has 8 gigs of ram, a T1 or better and unlimited hard disk space. Cable connections are great as long as you dont need static IP addresses that they dole out for 5 bucks an address and even then the service is becomming horrible.

    Stop with the “just toss in yet another 100 megs java framework” Do >> actual > 4 GIGS

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  3. By:flyingGuy

    Ok,

    So what ahppened to the rest of my post?

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  4. By:John Mah

    Size does matter. If we want to encourage usage as well as testing then we should provide easy means for people to access to the lastest build. At least I would download and use the latest build.

    Alternatively wonder can be download via Bit Torrent.

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  5. [...] Volker Scheuber recently asked in his blog posting about whether the size of applications that you download to do your job matters. Well, we decided to put Designer for Identity Manager on a diet. We stripped out the components of Eclipse that we didn’t need, did some general housekeeping like better sharing of components instead of including multiple copies, and removed unused resources. [...]

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  6. Martin, i agree. our biggest problem (size-wise) is the framework we’re built upon: eclipse. eclipse is a huge thing and offers us a lot of functionality. so far we have shipped the whole eclipse framework with designer, even the part we don’t use. we are going to change that, though, for our next milestone.

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  7. flying guy, are parts of your comment missing? if yes, please post them again, they must have gotten lost in the system.

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  8. John, thank your for your comment. in other words: the current size of our nightly/milestone builds prevents you from staying current? we are in the process of shrinking designer excessively. read the next comment for details or see bill street’s latest post for the whole story. designer is still big, but we have made some good progress as a first step.

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  9. yeah, i can definitely see the problem with a 384 K DSL connection! i fear even with after our diet it will take a while to download… what build of designer are you on and what do you use it for? is it only the meta directory part of the idm framework or are you using the provisionig side, too? certain areas of idm require a recent build of designer or you will lack functionality. if the download really is too big of a problem, drop me an email and we will figure out what we can do.

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  10. By:flyingGuy

    I figured it out. There is a size limitation is the responses, but the system doesn;t show you when you have run over that size. It was most a continuation of a rant about lazy programmers and continuing to use Java when a decent x-xompiler would do the same thing for about 20% of the amount of code, but I digress.

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  11. thanks, flying Guy, the size limitation is something we may want to work on to avoid this from happening in the future.

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  12. By:Will

    How about putting 5 MBs of code into Designer that allows you to update it directly from the application? Then we would only need to download the delta each day \ week \ month. Right now, I plan an hour to download, deal with, and install the latest builds. I find the nightly builds a little intimidating. I need my tools to work, so when I get a milestone I generally wait until the next stable milestone to update. Perhaps a monthly stable release as well?

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  13. Will,

    thank you for your feedback. we have code in designer which allows us to update existing plugins to newer versions. this functionality we call online update. unfortunately, online update has one limitation: it can only update plugins, not the whole eclipse platform. over the last couple of milestones, we very often also updated the eclipse platform. our long-term goal is to provide nightly and milestone builde (as long as they are based on the same eclipse platform) through the online updater. we are just not fully ready to do that, yet.

    we think along the same lines.

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