Subject: Re: Alternatives in the same package
To: Mike M. Volokhov <>
From: Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 04/22/2005 23:57:00
On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 17:58 +0300, Mike M. Volokhov wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Apr 2005 16:42:38 +0200
> "Geert Hendrickx" <> wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 02:51:07PM +0300, Mike M. Volokhov wrote:
> [snip]
> > > Any opinion, how to create such packages?
> > 
> > I'd suggest to split the package up, so there will be "binary" packages
> > for both the perl and the ruby version.  
> That's exactly what I had done. 
> > pkg_alternatives aren't necessary as there is no need to have both
> > installed.  It's not a matter of different interfaces (thus user
> > choice), just different dependencies (so only the sysadmin cares).  
> My packages will install and xmlformat.rb respectively.
> However, both packages are powered by alternatives framework, so
> sysadmin may bound any of both scripts to xmlformat. For people without
> alternatives, short name may be assigned via shell aliases.

I still don't understand why you chose to use alternatives (and this
is what the previous post asked, if I understood it correctly).

Is it there any difference, from the user point of view, when using instead of xmlformat.rb (and viceversa)?  If so, then
using alternatives is correct because each user will be free to use
the version he prefers.

If not (i.e., both programs are exactly the same but coded in
different languages), this could be simplified by making each
package install the xmlformat "binary" and adding conflicts against
each other.  After all, only the administrator will care about the
version used (due to its dependencies).


Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
The NetBSD Project -