I have a free software web application that using other free software scripts for appearance. I have trouble to decide whether should I copy source code of used scripts to my project main repository or list them as dependencies and ask user (who installs application to his server) to install them himself?

Since some of scripts solving browser compatibilities issues and I'm not a good web designer (i hate to check my web site on IE to see compatibility) using the newest version of scripts is preferable and second solution works here. But it has problem with scripts aren't backward-compatible with versions I've used them for development.

Maybe another method is well-known for this issues that I don't know them.

  • 1
    I'm a little confused - what 'dependencies' would a user have to install exactly for the appearance of your site? (Other than flash, silverlight or java)
    – Anonymous
    Apr 8, 2012 at 6:57
  • 1
    If you are speaking of javascripts files, they should be distributed to your user... Apr 8, 2012 at 7:09
  • @Anonymous- For example Javascript libraries for localized calendars or for drawing charts. Scripts for adding features to IE browser, for example.
    – reith
    Apr 8, 2012 at 11:13
  • @Reith when you are speaking of your user, you refer to the guy who will perform the server installation, or the customer who will connect to your website? Apr 8, 2012 at 11:46
  • @Simon The one who installs my application on his server. it was a bit confusing.
    – reith
    Apr 8, 2012 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


If license allows, you should certainly bundle all libraries and dependencies in a ZIP distribution. For those installing from GIT/SVN you should provide dependency installations.

From my experience with distributing the UI framework is that unless people can download and see result straight away, many will be turned down and will not give you second chance.

  • OP is speaking of a webapp. I don't think a website should require a repository checkout, but I may be confused ... Apr 8, 2012 at 11:45
  • he said free, so i assumed he wants to share source with others.
    – romaninsh
    Apr 8, 2012 at 12:30
  • Source code is on open repository and yes, licenses or compatible.
    – reith
    Apr 8, 2012 at 12:55

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