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Re: Apache should never be a mandatory dependency

> Right, and this isn't the only time that's come up either, not that I
> can remember any others offhand.
> I think we ought to have package metadata for providing and depending
> on abstractions.

I actually don't really now any pkgsrc-based "turnkey-installation".
That's usually something found with Linux, and there usually Apache is
indeed the web-server of choice.

I think we should pursue a practical approach that has high probability
of being used, instead of hunting special cases that -may- be -nice-.

While talking to someone else about this whole topic, the term
"bikeshedding" came up. When I take a look at this discussion, there
has indeed been some of that, because a lot of energy suddenly went
into the question of users and groups. It is not an important
discussion, and probably something that is to be thought about while
solving this issue, but the discussion got a little bit side-tracked.

What pkgsrc needs now, regarding the apache-dependency-issue, is a
decision that helps to improve it.

One good way is leaving out the dependencies to web-servers, because
honestly, any web-server can be used, no matter what web-application we
are talking about. Some will require more work then others, but that's
actually the user's problem. If I, as a user, want to use nginx, then
so be it, but then -I- will have to live with that decision and solve
all puzzles that would have been easier with apache.
As long as there are packages with dependencies to apache or may be
some apache module (hello meta-pkgs/php5[3-5]-extensions ...), apache
will always be pulled into the build, and that is definitely not in
every user's interest.

It might pose a problem with said turnkey-installations, but I believe
that these kinds of installation are not the usual way pkgsrc is used.
I think it's safe to defer the solution of this to those who use pkgsrc
for realizing it - which means outside of pkgsrc. Who ever provides
turn-key installations will also have the knowledge of how to realize
Whoever needs turnkey-installations because he has no clue of what's
necessary to install a webserver will probably use Ubuntu anyway.

If we really want packages to be able to state "You know, I need a
web-server", there's always the post-install message and DESCR. Yes, it
has to be maintained, but meta-data has to be, too. And opposite to
meta-data, post-install-messages and DESCR-files do already exist.
There doesn't need to be a lengthy process of developing a proper
structure etc., with endless discussions, just to realize a simple "I
need a webserver"-message. And honestly - if someone installs something
like drupal, wordpress, squirrelmail, roundcube or whatever - if that
one doesn't know it requires a webserver, too, then for all that's
sacred, I can't help that person.
Plus - all these packages need PHP, not a webserver. So I agree that it
would be ok to let them pull in PHP. I don't agree with having them
pulling in -how- PHP should be executed, however, that's the user's
So, as was already suggested a couple of times, please, remove the
dependencies to the web-servers or their modules.
If we can tackle those USER/GROUP issues at the same time, all the

If no one feels inclined to do that, I'd happily jump in and take the
task. I just don't have commit-rights.

- Volkmar

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