Subject: Re: advocacy
To: Sean Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Richard Rauch <email@example.com>
Date: 02/20/2002 19:31:57
> > No, a meta(package-system). That is, if you're going to make a new
> > installer that plops all of this junk (not an entirely neutral choice of
> > words; (^&) onto the user's hard disk, *presumably* there will be some
> > kind of interaction with the user. This would amount to selecting from
> > broad categories of packages, and/or specific packages.
> Ah, something new. I don't think that would be particularly hard, however,
> basically whats needed is the installer/upgrader/etc program interface and
> package format that we want to stick with (I think the existing package
> mechanisms should be fine, no need to reinvent the wheel when we already
> have the tools to do what we want done)
Right. (^& That's exactly my point.
Someone, I thought, was suggesting that we have something like KDE bundled
with the system. That effectively means either hiding the nice pkgsrc
system behind some new interface, or replacing the package system
entirely. (I assumed that some kind of interface was what was in mind.
But in any case, it seems to be a matter of fixing something that isn't
broken.) Even if you just layer a new interface over the existing one,
I don't see the point, except to do something similar to meta-packages for
easy selection of large sets of packages. So why not just add
(Well, it *is* a little broken re. shared libraries, last I updated
pkgsrc. I don't know if there's a sane way to fix it. People have
assured me that the nature of shared libraries means that we can never
have sane upgrades. I miss my Amiga, where you could just drop in a new
shared library and it would just work. It didn't matter if the library
was commercial or not; people just didn't break their API's in general.
This was virtually guaranteed because the normal behavior is to add a new
entry point if the old interface turns out to be unsatisfactory. I
thought that the UNIX shared library major version numbers were supposed
to be an author's guarantee that the API is keeping backwards-compatible
to the same major version, but apparently that is either wrong, or isn't
actually done in practice.)
> > (And if it's not point-and-click, or doesn't offer the user choices and
> > flexibility, then I *really* don't see the point of not just using
> > pkgsrc.)
> Whats wrong with a nice interface for pkgsrc? It could be part of the same
Nothing. And we've got one. (^& ``cd /usr/pkgsrc/graphics; ls; cd
<foo>; cat DESCR; <ponder>; make update''.
That the database is accessed with standard filesystem operations is not a
liability, IMHO. What particular features would you like to see that
don't come as a natural result of having everything in a filesystem?
> thing I was just talking about (something-ala-sysinstall) and maybe just a
> "build from source" option instead of install from binary pkg.
Um, we do have a ``build from source option''. It's called pkgsrc. What
am I missing here? (I haven't used binary packages in a long time. I got
burned by out of synch. versions that left me unable to install certain
combinations of packages. I think that things are a bit better now, but I
also prefer to have compiled-in defaults set according to my preference
rather than according to some binary-package-maintainer's preference.)
> > Unless XFree86 4.x now supports *all* hardware supported by 3.x, I'm not
> Hmm. I was under the impression that 4.x did support everything 3.x did.
Last I heard, there were certain cards that they did not yet support (and
I got the impression that there was no hurry to round them all out).
Maybe that's changed in 4.2?
> And as for newer cards, my Riva TNT2 wasn't by any means expensive, and it
> performed like absolute crap in 3.x but flies in 4.x.
I'm not sure how the Riva compares; I had the impression that it was
considered a pretty good card about 3 or 4 years ago, though. The card
that I use in my main system is an STB Nitro 3D. Although it has some 3D
features, I never heard them touted much; about 4 years ago, it could be
found in the low end of what retail stores offered, for about $40. I
assume that it's pretty anemic, but it works nicely for what I need from
``I probably don't know what I'm talking about.'' --firstname.lastname@example.org