It figures, after bitching about the lack of ROI for Developers on Open Source projects, I get an e-mail from Rob Cope of Out-of-the-Box. The e-mail said that I could get a free version of Out-of-the-Box Enterprise Edition for my contribution to the open source community.
So I think, "wicked cool" - this software sounds great! I downloaded (500 MB) and installed it, and that was the end of my experience with OOTB. No instructions on what to do next. I perused around the filesystem it installed and tried to run ant in a few directories, but no luck. So OOTB just gives me a bunch of OSS projects on my hard-drive, but they aren't built. I don't want to know what I'm doing wrong - I want to know where the documentation is that tells me what to do. I'd dig it if it let me install them projects (i.e. Apache) where I wanted, and also allowed me to upgrade existing installations. If it could migrate my existing settings or customizations, that would be even better. That is what I want.
That being said, I don't think I have much use for OOTB. Why? Because it's not updated enough. I'm the type of upgrade-happy SOB that wants to download and use as soon as the release announcement goes out. I want to get the latest snapshot from CVS and see if it solves my problems. I want to patch my local copy and fix the bugs myself. I want to install some applications in $TOOLS_HOME, and some in $SDKS_HOME. Lastly, while it's nice that OOTB sets the environment variables for me ($JAVA_HOME and $ANT_HOME), I'd appreciate it if it didn't overwrite my existing ones. A simple prompt to see if I want to change them would be sufficient. Especially since I have a newer version of Ant (1.5.3-1 vs. 1.5.3) than OOTB. I don't mean to be too critical - I just want to voice my true feelings. ;-)