Subject: Re: Locations of some packages baffles me
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/28/2001 21:46:37
[ On Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 17:52:27 (-0700), Greywolf wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Locations of some packages baffles me
> Base system stuff is as distributed, i.e. sacrosanct (in my opinion and
> experience).
> X11 is an add-on and therefore goes somewhere else (in my opinion and
> experience).

So, which is it?  some say X11 is part of the base system (it's
certainly not (yet) in pkgsrc!).  Now you're saying it's an add-on even
though it's not in pkgsrc?

> Mixing pkg stuff into X11 is FAR less onerous than mixing pkg stuff in
> with system stuff (in my opinion and experience).

Well, the current X11 stuff is at least intended to be installed by the
base system installation process.  Doesn't that mean that for many
intents and purposes it actually is a part of the base system (even
though an optional part, just as comp.tgz and man.tgz are optional parts)?

The real question though is why is it you (or anyone else) think there's
some issue with mixing pkg stuff with system stuff (i.e. installing it
into the same hierarchy)?  What makes you so sure the base system is
important enough to be kept pristine and separate?  Why don't these same
requirements you put to the base system hold for other non-packaged
stuff such as X11?

I have in fact answered those questions in the past, in great detail,
(not all from my own intellect of course, but also through what I've
learned from a great many other people) and I do know _exactly_ what the
technical issues are.  I am not lost in a fog of opinion and personal
prejudices here.

I can assure you that you are using only opinion and prejudice if you
think it's OK to mix pkg stuff in with X11 and not with the base system
(at least given the current state of affairs on NetBSD).  You are in
fact ignoring the technical issues if that's what you believe.

Note that we really are not very far at all from solving the real
technical issues here.  NetBSD binary distributions are already created
from packing/manifest lists -- creating a "base" entry in /var/db/pkg to
describe the base system (and thus deal with the technical issues I
refer to) is by now nearly a trivial excercise in data transformation.
Indeed even converting the existing "*.tgz" distribution sets into
suitable fodder for pkg_add would be similarly trivial.  One of the few
remaining technical issues is that of how to deal with an add-on package
that wants to take over ownership of some file in a base package
(instead of just creating a conflict).  Clean and safe handling of
in-place binary upgrades is another.

> Please do not force hierarchy integration.  I look at how you have it
> and I can say "ew".  However, it's your system.  Do as you will.
> Don't even think about the possibility of considering that it's good
> for everybody.  You want everything under /bin, you go for it.  That's
> your prerogative.  I think that's messy as hell and overpopulates
> a directory and makes it harder to read.

People with open minds will see that "harder to read" is FUD and that
there are real benefits to having *one* consistent hierarchy.  :-)

Certainly the people who've been unwitting participants in my
experiments with doing this have always expressed pleasant surprise at
the consistent, coherent, and elegant result.

Suffice it to say though this issue of packagising X11 and indeed the
entire base system is totally separate from that of where you install
the resulting packages.

							Greg A. Woods

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