packaging system (was: Re: GCC 3.3.2 kernel)

Craig Dooley cd5697 at
Thu Oct 30 13:09:29 PST 2003

Debian does have a system like this called provides.  For example, exim, 
sendmail, qmail, etc provide mta, then if any program needs to send mail it 
can just depend on mta


On Thursday 30 October 2003 16:01, Chris Pressey wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 18:33:51 +0100
> Emiel Kollof <coolvibe at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > [...]
> > As far as I care, the current BSD packages are fine as they are as
> > packages, but the managing of those packages (/var/db/pkg,
> > portupgrade, etc etc) needs to be overhauled.
> FWIW I agree.  Advances in this area are probably going to come in small
> steps anyway - might as well work with what was inherited, to start.
> Rambling along those lines:
> I'm tempted to suggest re-thinking the use of 'make' in port-building.
> I suspect the actual strengths of make are being underused.  Isn't it
> a bit ironic that most port makefiles look like shell scripts while the
> job of *detecting stale dependencies* is done by a Ruby script?  :)
> There's also an interesting little issue that occurred to me a while
> ago, and I'm not sure there's any packaging system available which
> addresses it (although please do enlighten me if anyone happens to know
> of one - I'm not terribly well-read on apt, dpkg, etc.)  The issue is
> that the dependency tree for a package or port is usually, but not
> always, static.  The case for when it is static is well-understood and
> usually handled well.  The case for when it can vary, OTOH, is not.
> Example: say you have a graphical text editor built upon Motif (e.g.
> nedit.)  You can build and run it with either OpenMotif or LessTif.  If
> you already have LessTif installed, and the package declares OpenMotif
> as a dependency - nothing good can come of it!  Yes, you can put
> USE_LESSTIF (or whatever it is) in make.conf to try to address the
> problem, but a proliferation of package-specific switches just
> complicates the whole process IMHO.  It would be slightly better to have
> a single port called, say, 'Motifalike', that builds either OpenMotif or
> LessTif depending on your preference, and have every Motif-dependant
> port specify Motifalike in its dependencies.  Even slightly better than
> that might be to specify Motif not as a package, but as an 'interface'
> to which any number of packages might conform.
> Probably more of an annoyance than an actual problem for most people,
> but I thought it might be an interesting 'hmm'-point for anyone who's
> thinking about the packaging system.
> -Chris

Craig Dooley											cd5697 at xxxxxxxxxx
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