Subject: Re: nox11 vs x11
To: Jan Schaumann <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/07/2003 14:37:57
[ On Saturday, June 7, 2003 at 12:32:52 (-0400), Jan Schaumann wrote: ]
> Subject: nox11 vs x11
> I think we should standardize on the naming of packages wrt to "-nox11"
> vs "-x11".  Currently, we have several packages that have a "-nox11"
> equivalent indicating that this package builds without X11, and others
> with "-x11" equivalents.  It would be less confusing if we would have a
> default and then say for packages that may either work with or without
> the naming is always "<package name>" for _with_ X11 support and
> "<package name>-nox11" without.

The only problem with such artificial "standardization" of naming is
that some packages are more naturally X11 packages and some are more
naturally not.

For example:  GhostScript.  It is more naturally _not_ an X11 package
and so should have a "-x11" variant in pkgsrc for when it's X11
capabilities are also included.  It also needs an "-x11+images-only"
variant because there are also some circumstances where it makes sense
to use it without the rather bloated printer drivers (e.g. where one has
only X11 and true PostScript printers and no physical printers that need
GS).  This same kind of naming might also apply to any other imagine
processing application that can drive different kinds of devices,
including optionally X11, and where the core purpose of the application
has no bias towards X11.

I'm sure there are several applications where the opposite is true too
i.e. where the application is, or at least has come to be, known
primarily as an X11 app, but where it's possible to also build it as a
command-line only variant without dragging in the X11 bloat (and no, I'm
not thinking of those apps which have the ability to use alternate
GUIs).  In these cases it makes the most sense to have the variant be
named with the "-nox11" suffix.  The best example of this is Xemacs, and
now GNU Emacs seems to fit this model too.  There may be other examples,
though in fact none of the other ones currently using this suffix are
proper applications of its use (at least not as per my reasoning ;-).

Remember these variants are all about making it possible to build binary
versions of packages that can be installed on systems without X11, and
even in the case of static linking the ability to build binary packages
that don't include the X11 bloat when it's not going to be needed/used.
If we didn't care about binary packages, or if we didn't care about the
bloat of X11 when it's not needed, then these variants would not be
necessary.  As such I think it's fair to keep both naming conventions.

								Greg A. Woods

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