Use Opersource for sure, but how much?

Almost every time when I need to write an application, I find that I need some existing packages. I most likely do not use commercially available ones because my need is very little. But even those open source packages are huge too. I often end up to the question which one I should choose?

The one that I working on, as I mentioned in the previous post, needs to get values from XPath. For that purpose, I can either write a function myself or use an opensource package. I decided to go with a package. I searched the internet and found that it could be as simple as TinyXPath or as complicate as Xalan.

I first chose Xalan because it is supported by a established foundation, The Apache Foundation. But later I found that I made a mistake. The version I used was 1.3. This version is not compatible with their new versions. When I tried to compile my application on other systems, I found out that Xalan (1.3) would not compile and there is no technical support anymore because I am supposed to move to the new version.

So, the question is: why should I use Xalan if all I need is to get values by XPath? I decided to use TinyXPath instead. It works very well.

This story does not apply in all cases. My point is that the developer must do a serious evaluation among those available packages.

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