Subject: Re: Packages (Re: xntpd)
To: Ernst J. du Toit <current-users@NetBSD.ORG,>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/04/1996 17:34:52
> I myself use /usr/local/<pkg>-<vers>, e.g.:
> >
> > /usr/local/mtools-2.0.7
> > /usr/local/X11R6
> > /usr/local/netpbm-1mar94
> > /usr/local/top-3.3beta
> > etc.
> >
> Hmmm, sorry for only dropping in now, the above structure is great for
> humans, but what on earth is going to do to the poor shell that has to
> parse the $PATH etc. to make the system work? What will the impact on
> memory be, etc?

I assume you understood that the users (and that's what we act for here :-),
and with them their shells, don't have to include all those dir's
bin-subdirectories into ther $PATH, but only some common bin-dir
(/usr/local/bin), which contains only symlinks.

Under these conditions, i don't think it makes much difference for the shell if
it includes references to files or symlinks into it's internal hash-table (if
it uses such a thing :-).

But serious folks: i remember the precious discussion (to be honest: flame-war
fits better!) about packages on the amiga-list. Right now we seem to be at a
point at where we've settled on the concept of packages being in
/usr/local/<somediryettoname>/<pkg> and binaries, man-pages etc. available
through symlinks to /usr/local/bin, .../man, etc. If someone has reasonable
arguments against it, please speak up *now*, tell us and possibly tell us a
other (better) solution!

> Or are we going some commercial o/s way and have a link farm to
> - shudder.

Any better solution?

Having just symlinks in .../bin, you can have two versions of a package
simultaneously on your disk, without much hassle when exchanging. I e.g. had it
several times that i installed new version of software, then hat do back down
to the previous one due to errors in the new version. If you keep binaries in
your bin-dir, you overwrite the old version when upgrading, with no easy way to
back down.

What would you suggest instead? (I don't consider restoring backup-tapes a good

> IF however the above structure is just for BUILDING the packages for
> installation - I hang my head in shame for not having the rest of the
> thread and will promptly go and stand in the corner (alone, without so much
> as a teletype) for an hour.

Just for building? No, we're working on a concept which the "endusers" will
have on their disks, and the process of putting the packages together, which
will probably not done by endusers, but should be simplified as much, too.
Else, we have some great concept and no packages the endusers can install. :-)


P.S.: I CC: this to tech-install... hope everyone's happy with that.

=============== Hubert Feyrer ============================================
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