Subject: Re: Alternatives system for pkgsrc
To: Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
From: Pavel Cahyna <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/20/2005 16:01:41

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 12:55:31 +0100, Julio M. Merino Vidal wrote:

> I've been working on an alternatives system for pkgsrc, similar to that
> found in Debian.  It is not ready yet, but before continuing its
> development, I'd like to ask for comments here (mainly if you agree to
> this proposal or not).  (Before thinking "ugh, linux stuff", keep
> reading ;).
> But what is an "alternatives system"?  It is a framework that allows
> multiple packages providing similar functionality to be installed
> concurrently (by removing files with common names), and then using a
> utility to set up those common names with symlinks to the preferred
> program.
> An example: consider nvi and vim.  ATM you can install both on a system
> without problems, because neither of them registers itself as 'vi'.
> However, it may be convenient to have such link, specially if the base
> system does not provide a 'vi' program (ok, this example is not very
> fortunate, but you get the idea).

Thanks for doing this. Couldn't there be a way for the tools in the
base system to participate in alternatives too? (To allow the
default nvi to be overriden by the pksrc vim, or the default rsh by the
rsh from Heimdal, etc.). At least on NetBSD.

Also, mailwrapper could probably be replaced by this mechanism (if it is
provided in the base system).

Bye	Pavel