Subject: Re: hidden dependencies, Act II
To: Johnny C. Lam <>
From: Frederick Bruckman <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/13/2001 14:57:33
On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Johnny C. Lam wrote:
> Frederick Bruckman <> writes:
> >
> > Shades of "pkglibtool". I hope the long term goal is to merge this
> > into automake/autoconf...

> 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.

In that case, it may be prudent to back off a little...

> 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.

I do have some lingering doubts about your plan as I see it. If you're
going to go through the packages one-by-one anyway, why not just fix
the system-wide m4 macros to conform to your view? First of all,
there's nothing seriously broken in pkgsrc right now -- we have tools
to help with the missing dependencies problem (bulk builds,
check-shlibs), and from a support point of view, if one slips by, the
work around is simple and obvious. Secondly, there are lots of little
hacks to "configure" and "" duplicated throughout pkgsrc,
as the same problems are solved over and over. I think it would be
great to collect those in /usr/pkg/share/autoconf, even if it makes us
use autoconf more, in the hopes that one day autoconf will take up the
changes. I think /usr/pkg/share/autoconf would be the place to reverse
the defaults.

> > > 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)

I wouldn't worry too much about that. To make an omelette, you gotta
break some eggs...