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Re: [rant] Too many dependencies

Joerg Sonnenberger wrote:
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.

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.

My original rant was perhaps a little misleading. I didn't mean to just complain about montone-viz. It's a far bigger problem than that: What I don't like is installing something for function X, and it builds forever, and the output suddenly tells me I need to install three new daemons and it's installed half a new desktop environment, none of which has nothing to do with function X.

In some cases it's obviously a problem upstream, where the developers of the package simply make too many assumptions. But looking at portage (Gentoo's package management system) I get the feeling that there's far more support for choosing features/dependencies in the distribution sources than is supported through pkgsrc.

I am in no way saying we need the level of control available in Gentoo's portage, but some of the dependency trees I encounter are just plain silly.

To give an example: I don't want hal, avahi or fam. Yet sometimes get the feeling that whatever I try to install, these get pulled in some way or another. These are typical features which you can enable/disable for individual packages in portage.

I agree with your assessment that bitrot will be a problem if we were to support the ultra fine-grained level of control that portage provides, and I don't want that.

But I also don't want hal, avahi and fam -- and a bunch of other things which pkgsrc shoves down my throat (and which I suspect that it really doesn't have to).

Kind regards,
Jan Danielsson

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