Indy Sockets: an example of how to not distribute software libraries

Indy Sockets is a library of network components for Embarcadero Delphi, which has been included in the Delphi distribution for many years now.  Like all libraries, bug fixes and patches are regularly made to the source and thus it is typically a good idea to update your the library periodically.
Unfortunately the method of distribution that the Indy Sockets developers have chosen could be a classic example of how to not distribute software libraries.  Here’s why.
When you visit the Indy download page, you are presented with the following blurb:

Installation

Development Snapshot – Instructions to obtain live source and compile manually.

Alternatively you can download the Source Code for Version 10.0.52. This is however a rather old version and is no longer recommended.

So naturally, one follows the Development Snapshot link as the rather old version is no longer recommended, right?  Once you get to the Development Snapshot page, you are then presented with the following scary message:

“You are being warned. This will provide you with a direct link into our current development files. At various times the files may not compile, or in some cases may cause strange errors. Use at your own risk! However please see the version specific notes below. If you are unlucky enough to download a bad version please try again a little later. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

This means that when you download Indy, you have no guarantee of getting a stable or even a compiling version.  There is no version information, and you have to rely on their SVN commit logs to figure out what the status of the libraries are.  Oh yes, and the “version specific notes” are missing.

Poor show.

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