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Re: devel/git and devel/git-base are confusing

    Date:        Tue, 16 Jul 2019 01:12:09 +0200
    From:        Kamil Rytarowski <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | I disagree with this as I find MESSAGES appropriate and helpful, but of
  | course only for a small number of packages when they are really needed
  | for actions like creating /dev nodes.

This has nothing to do with the current discussion - what is needed to
do with a package that has been installed is irrelevant to the question
of whether to install it in the first place.

  | Checking MESSAGE vs checking DESCR isn't much harder:

That's true, the problem is, that because of ...

	"but of course only for a small number of packages"

(which is completely correct) no-one knows that they're supposed to check
the MESSAGE file - that's why, when there is one, it is printed during
installation, where, and I agree with Greg, it is mostly useless, as it
appears amongst lots of other noise (especially for dependency packages)
and is rarely noticed.

  | Also their appearing on install raises attention.

The point is that it generally doesn't.   But that's not the current
issue, what is more relevant is ...

jinx$ pkg_info -D git
pkg_info: can't find package `git'
jinx$ pkg_info -d git
pkg_info: can't find package `git'
jinx$ pkg_info -d git-base
pkg_info: can't find package `git-base'
jinx$ pkg_info -D git-base
pkg_info: can't find package `git-base'

None of that is useful to decide whether or not a package should be

On the other hand, since every package has a DESCR:

jinx$ cat $PKGSRCDIR/devel/git/DESCR 
This package is a meta package, collecting the components normally
expected to be installed for the GIT distributed version control
suite (the tool itself, the tk-based browser gitk, and the man pages).

always works, and is easy (or using the "pkgin pkg-descr" method that
Martin Neitzel described for pkgin users) and tells me what that package
would be if it were to be installed - which is what is in question here.


jinx$ cat $PKGSRCDIR/devel/git/MESSAGE
cat: /usr/src/pkgsrc/devel/git/MESSAGE: No such file or directory

isn't really helpful at all.

It might perhaps be (very slightly) useful to have the DESCR mention
that there is a MESSAGE file when there is one ... to advise the user
to watch out for it (or to check it again after installation) - but that
only helps for packages installed deliberately by the user, not for
dependencies, which is where the problems with MESSAGE usually arise.

For meta packages like git I suppose it could be useful to mention
(in DESCR) any particularly important dependant packages that are
included (like git-base for git) so the user knows where to look for
more information about what the package really is (and perhaps suggests
what might be installed instead if the user doesn't want the entire
meta package).

jinx$ cat $PKGSRCDIR/devel/git-base/DESCR
Git is a free and open source distributed version control system
designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with
speed and efficiency.
[etc ... more elided here]

and if there are any (which it seems as if there might be going to be
here) perhaps also any significant related packages that have not been
included and (some users) might desire to also install:

jinx$ cat $PKGSRCDIR/devel/git-gitk/DESCR
gitk is a Tk-based graphical tool for viewing git repository history,
including a commit diff viewer.


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