Subject: Re: hidden dependencies, Act II
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Johnny C. Lam <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/13/2001 13:29:37
Frederick Bruckman <> writes:
> On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Johnny C. Lam wrote:
> > Todd Vierling <> writes:
> > >
> > > Though having autoconf and automake as build time dependencies are a tad
> > > annoying, I believe the ends justify the means here.  Like libtool, autocon
> f
> > > is a common build tool which can be tailored to help isolate the pkgsrc
> > > build environment.
> Shades of "pkglibtool". I hope the long term goal is to merge this
> into automake/autoconf, so that we don't need perl/automake/autoconf
> to build any package on NetBSD forever and for all time. The aim of
> not picking up hidden dependencies is very reasonable -- I'm sure the
> identical problem bites users of other operating systems and other
> package systems.

We can always try, but I don't think it likely that the autoconf
maintainers will take back the changes because it changes the expected
behaviour of autoconf to such a large degree.  The change is also
quite hackish, and until I or another person learns more about
autoconf innards, it's likely to stay that way.

> Another thing to keep in mind is that some teams have their own custom
> version of automake or autoconf -- users aren't expected to run
> automake/autoconf -- so we may have to get creative with some packages.

Yes, but I think we can just leave those packages alone instead of
trying to convert them to using pkgautoconf.  I was envisioning that
we commit the pkgautoconf stuff, then just go through the packages
one-by-one to convert them as the need arises.  Not all packages that
use GNU configure need to be run through pkgautoconf, so that
simplifies things for us initially.

> > Yes.  I think that at the worst, people who build from pkgsrc will
> > find the need perl to be installed.
> So what? Having run-time dependencies on perl makes it really
> difficult to maintain perl, among other things, but the build-time
> dependency isn't so bad. Once you've installed perl for any reason
> (pkglint, for one), you've got it.

Well, even the build-time dependency can be onerous for some (see
pkg/13004), and I imagine that we should try to slim things down for
platforms where disk space is tight, though I don't think it should be
our number 1 priority during the initial phase of the conversion to
using pkgautoconf.


     -- Johnny C. Lam <>
        Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University