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Re: Package options dialog

On 05/06/18 17:13, John Nemeth wrote:
On May 6,  3:50pm, "D'Arcy Cain" wrote:
} On 2018-05-06 12:17 PM, John Nemeth wrote:
} >        I would suspect in this case, that user-friendly would mean
} > using pkgin or some other binary package manager and not building
} > packages at all.
} It's not an either/or.  I have a network of servers and I build all of
} my packages on one system in a chroot jail setting my own preferences
} there.  All of the other systems and even the build system outside the
} jail use pkgin to get those packages.

      For my large site, I have VMs setup to limited pbulk runs.
However, the person to whom I was responding was talking about the
situation where there were no sysadmins available.

}-- End of excerpt from "D'Arcy Cain"

Case in point, I happen to be in a conversation right now with the developer of plink, a genomics analysis app.  He's reported that it performs much better with SSE4.2, and much better still with AVX2, features that are not available on many CPUs still in operation, so they cannot be part of the default binary package.

IT skills are scarce in biology research.  Computational research is still rather new in this domain, but growing incredibly fast.

Inability to properly deploy software is a huge problem that can be addressed with tools that already exist.

So picture a biologist with limited computer skills, thousands of core-hours of computation between h{im,er} and a grant deadline, and no Unix-savvy IT staff to help deploy an open source app like plink.  Using the portable binary package could add weeks to the analysis time.  They have no idea was SSE or AVX are.

A relatively small number of packagers can have a huge impact, because many researchers are struggling to deploy the same few applications.

There are many possible solutions, but the one that's in easy reach pkgsrc right now is making it easy for them to boostrap a pkgsrc tree and built optimizes binaries from source, using -march=native or something similar.

If I can tell someone like this to build the package from source and select native optimizations from the config menu, this is something can easily handle, and their research will get done much sooner.

Just one of many examples, some of which could be package options and others global settings.

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