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Re: [rant] Too many dependencies

On 22/07/2009 10:21 AM, Joerg Sonnenberger wrote:
On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 10:04:17AM +1000, Sarton O'Brien wrote:
You're the ideas man though, any alternate suggestions? Being a 'user'
in the purest sense, I have no idea what tips the scales towards pain
nor gain.

Part of the problem starts from your mail. The package options generally
fall into two categories.

Ok, I'll accept responsibility for being the cause of part of the problem. *shrug* wegyttd

Some are more or less widely supported and generic ("x11"). That's a
pretty short list. Making e.g. the librsvg package optionally depend on
libgsf as option "gnome" is reasonable. The important part here is:
keep the number of wide scale options small or they are not going to help

Agreed, it is a short list and the reasoning is logical. It's what's obvious to the user initially that causes a short list to be a large pain.

The other class are fine-grained options that are relatively package
specific. This are things like what database adapter to use in the case
of Django or what codecs to support for transcode/mplayer. The core
problem here is that selecting a small subset is very likely to make the
package unusable by default. If you care, check the options and select
what you need.

For binary packages I agree. If I'm to build anything with regards to a database or codec, I ensure those options are enabled prior and don't rely on default options, so maybe I'm just different.

Also keep in mind that every option needs at least some basic testing
for every update or it is just going to bitrot. The result are angry
complains why something is not working correctly.

I imagine this would be the case whether the options are enabled or not. Seeing as binary packages would still be required with the typical default options, I can't quite see how this kind of testing could be neglected.

As a user trying to adhere to the existing framework, knowing what to set for PKG_DEFAULT_OPTIONS and X11_TYPE to ensure I only get what I need, was not obvious.

All I'm saying is; it would be nice to be able to build whatever I want and know that it will be the bare minimum if I so choose. That choice doesn't currently exist unless you are a little seasoned.


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