Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] Fastest and the Legal way to distribute CustomDissectors
From: Gerald Combs <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 11:11:30 -0700
If you create a file called "version.conf" in your top-level directory
containing something like

enable: 1
pkg_format: MySpecialRelease-1
pkg_enable: 1

you can use "make-version.pl -p" to add "MySpecialRelease-1" to the
installer name. You can use the "format" configuration line to add text
to the version shown in the "About" dialog.

Makharia, Shivesh wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks for your responses. I think I would go for option#1 as a short
> term solution and option#3 for long term as I want my changes to be
> finally included in Wireshark. I have another query regarding option#1.
> When I send customers a custom Wireshark Installer, do I also need to
> have a version numbering different from official Wireshark builds? Is
> there somewhere I have to let customers/people know that is our
> "private" build as opposed to what has been offcially released by
> Wireshark (like in the About box or something)?
> Thanks for your help in advance.
> Regards,
>> #3 is probably the "best" if you're willing to share the source and 
>> think
> the code would be of use to others.
>> Advantages:
>> - Less work for you in the long run.  
>  > - Each time a new release of Wireshark comes out with changes that
> you want, you'd need to release a newer >version of your "custom"
> Wireshark.  Or if you don't do this, would complicate things for users
> that are frequent
>> Wireshark users and DO want a version installed with the latest
> changes.
>  > - Periodically changes are made that affect ALL (or a large number)
> of dissectors.  If that happens someone else >would most likely update
> your dissector so it continues to function.  Without checking in, you'll
> need to figure out why >your dissector doesn't compile anymore with
> newer releases.
>> - Your changes will be reviewed by someone who knows more about 
>> Wireshark
> than you do.  If you've done >something badly (that will potentially
> cause crashes, weird errors, will cause you headaches in the long run)
> you have a
>> good chance of getting feedback to help with this.
>> - You have contributed back to the community, which is kind of a major
> point of this project.
>> - Once your code is checked in you can just direct people to download 
>> the
> latest Wireshark instead of your own >private version. (though initially
> you may have to just distribute a custom build - though you can generate
> one
>> automatically here using the buildbot)
>> Downsides:
>> - As you say, may take longer overall to push changes to Wireshark -
> possibly especially a problem if you expect >them to be updated
> frequently.
>> People here tend to be fairly responsive, and won't waste your time.  
>> But
> if you've written something badly, you >probably will be forced to
> rewrite it (which may slow you down in the short term, but be good in
> the long term)
>> #2 is a mixed bag.  Distributing code as plugins are probably more
> "legal"
> if you weren't willing/allowed to distribute >the sources, but that's
> not a problem for you.  However, plugins tend to be problematic to
> maintain. 
>> There tend to be frequent changes in Wireshark that will break existing
> plugins (so you'd potentially end up having to >compile a plugin for
> each version of Wireshark that you want your dissectors to be compatible
> with), and a lot of the >maintainers here aren't exactly a fan of them.
> Don't expect a lot of support on getting them to work.  I'd probably
>> stick with either #1 if this is just some really simple project and
> you're going to be distributing to a few people for >limited use, or #3
> if you want to do things "right" and save yourself work in the long run.
> Why not go for #1 AND #3? 
> Make a bug report with your dissector(s) and while waiting for
> review/commit distribute a
> Custom version.
> /Anders
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