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Re: Dependencies of meta-pkgs/gnome [was Re: Adding a gnome-lite package]

On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM, Jens Rehsack 
<> wrote:
> On 04/23/10 13:20, Geert Hendrickx wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 01:09:48PM +0000, Jens Rehsack wrote:
>>> I personally would prefer keeping the number of basically equivalent
>>> packages small and introduce some options there. Otherwise the amount
>>> of new packages switches from self-maintaining package list to search
>>> most fitting package.
>> What's the benefit of options in a meta-package?
>> If I want eg. Gnome and Firefox, I will simply install gnome-lite and
>> firefox, rather than enabling the "firefox" option of the gnome-lite
>> package.
> The benefit should be, that all suggested dependencies are optional, so
> without any interaction, gnome-pkgsrc behaves like gnome-suggested. To stay
> at your example, you'll not have to "PKG_OPTIONS.gnome-pkgsrc=+firefox" but
> "PKG_OPTIONS.gnome-pkgsrc=-firefox" if you want to use another browser.

If all dependencies are optional, there is no point in having a meta
package.  If you are going to maintain a big list of options to select
what goes into such a meta package and what does not, you can as well
maintain that list of packages in some other way.

>>  The goal of gnome-lite (or whatever the name) is just to save
>> the users from having to scrape together the set of relevant libraries
>> and tools themselves, not to be the one meta-pkg-to-rule-them-all.
> Currently the users have not many choices: they can use the entire meta-pkg
> or use it not.
> But introducing 5 new packages which differ slightly wouldn't make sense to
> me when 2 new packages and 2-3 options would do fine.

Package options, specially those that change dependencies, are evil.
Let's not go that route unless necessary.

We, as package maintainers, have the responsibility of providing
packages that make sense.  These packages must be usable even when
pkgsrc is not available: aka, through binary packages.  In that case,
package options are not available, and finding alternatives to them is
desirable exactly for this reason.  (Avoiding options is also
desirable for reproducibility reasons: you don't want users reporting
bugs that you can't reproduce just because they used who-knows-what

Julio Merino

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