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Re: [rant] Too many dependencies

On 20/07/2009 7:28 PM, Jan Danielsson wrote:

I wanted to try out devel/monotone, and found something called
devel/monotone-viz (which apparently is a tool to draw ancestry graphs)
which I decided to try as well. I got a little suspicions when it was
taking longer to build than some of the larger packages I have, so I
took a closer look at what it was doing. It was building evolution.

I can't really imagine that monotone-viz requires evolution in any shape
or form. It has been claimed that pkgsrc should cater to the large mass,
which makes sense. But I'm fairly certain that the large mass does not
want evolution as a part of monotone-viz.

In addition to seeing this with new packages; I have seen several
packages which I remember to build quickly and cleanly a while back
which nowadays require massive amounts of dependencies (despite their
purpose/function being unchanged). I assume that in most cases these
changes are not to be blamed on pkgsrc, but on the development upstream.
But surely there are cases were we could trim the dependency tree a
little without affecting usability? Perhaps using the options-framework?

On a related note: It's a pain to want to have _one_ package, ending up
with 50+. Sometimes when I run "pkg_comp audit" I see packages which I
have no idea what they do, and which I suspect I don't even really need.

I guess the growing dependency trees may simply be a natural process in
open source given enough time, but it's making package management a pain.

(I eventually gave up on monotone-viz. It was taking too long to build,
and all those extra packages will cause my package updates to become a

End rant.

Sorry, I'm a bit cranky today.

I have had similar issues and it nearly always ends up being a recursive dependency that is applicable to the options framework. The problem for me is the assumed default options, which has required me to create a rather long PKG_DEFAULT_OPTIONS line in mk.conf that negates most of what is specified as default.

Notably '-x11' prevents most of it but in the case of command line transcoding with vlc I've had to use '-esound -pulseaudio' as well ... and the list goes on for other packages.

I'd prefer it if pkgsrc only built the required dependencies as opposed to having default options (with maybe a PKG_DEFAULT_OPTIONS_ON=yes/no) but then it may not be as fool proof for others.

This may not be the case with monotone-viz but I've found pkgsrc much less time consuming after tracking down the culprit defaults in my situation.


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