Subject: Package tools (esp. IRIX) [Re: DEC uses NetBSD]
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: current-users
Date: 03/25/1997 12:11:06
>>>> [me (Mouse) calling SGI inst complicated and undocumented]
>>> Nah.  Irix's packaging utility is one of the greatest added-value
>>> features of Irix.  It [many things that are arguably nice but
>>> completely irrelevant to my point]
>> I kinda have to agree with der Mouse here ... "complicated and
>> undocumented" definately describes it.
> Actually, Irix's package tools are quite well documented...

Then the documentation is hidden well enough that neither I nor whoever
"[had] to agree with [me]" above found them, which amounts to much the
same thing.

> You can find the manual for them online at my old employer, BTW...
> check out:

I don't think it's reasonable to point to web pages as
support for a claim that SGI's tools are well documented.  How is the
random SGI sysadmin supposed to know to look on (on a
nonstandard web port, at that), even assuming Web access?

In any case, I looked there.  Which link are you referring to?  The
only one that looks at all promising is the "Software Packager User's
Guide", and it talks about packaging software for swmgr, whatever that
is, not inst.  Even ignoring that, it is user-level documentation for
the SGI tools; it is not, as far as I can see, documentation on any of
the issues I cited as being undocumented (the major ones, IIRC, being
the format of software package files and the inst-private (or
swmgr-private, as the case may be) area where it keeps records).

Perhaps the IRIX package tools _would_ be a good choice...but I still
stand by my claim that they are complicated and undocumented, and
maintain that those qualities (though the latter more than the former)
disqualify them from serious consideration here.

>>> The Irix version of install(1) even has mods to work with the
>>> package system...
>> Which breaks the IRIX install so that it's totally noncompatible
>> with every _other_ Unix install program.
> Will you restrict yourself to what you know about, please?  It
> happens that the flags to interact with the packaging system are
> _in_addition_ to the traditional BSD install flags.  The syntax of
> Irix install(1) is a compatible superset of NetBSD's install...

Comparing the IRIX 6.3 manpage with the NetBSD 1.2 manpage, I see the
following items which appear to contradict your claim:

- IRIX uses -u to set the owner; NetBSD uses -o.  IRIX -o takes no
  argument and has semantics along the lines of "save the old file".

- IRIX uses -s to mean "be silent"; NetBSD uses it to mean "run
  strip(1) on the file".

- IRIX does not appear to support anything like NetBSD's -c flag, nor
  does it do the accept-and-ignore compatability thing with it.  (I
  even tried it, just in case it was accepted but undocumented.)

- NetBSD uses -f to frob file flags; IRIX uses it to name a target
  directory (at least near as I can figure from the manpage).

- NetBSD uses -d to create a directory; IRIX appears to spell this -dir
  and has no -d option.

Perhaps this is your idea of "a compatible superset".  It's not mine.

					der Mouse

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