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Re: [Caml-list] standard regex package
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Date: 2001-08-27 (15:46)
From: Ian Zimmerman <itz@s...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Package dependencies [Was: standard regex package]

Miles> One danger in developing such a system is that you'll wind up duplicating the
Miles> rather extensive functionality of existing package management systems.  RPM and
Miles> DEB both handle these kinds of dependencies and are fairly complex systems for
Miles> it.  CPAN has its shortcomings, but it also works suprisingly well most of the
Miles> time.  I think you should at least consider taking a "worse-is-better" approach
Miles> and build something that works and leave the delicate dependency management to
Miles> the distribution packagers.

Gerd> As far as I know, RPM/DEP focus on binary installations, and source packages
Gerd> exist only to conveniently make binary packages. This means: Someone already
Gerd> has reviewed the package and decided which versions to take.

Sven> debian package include source dependencies, and you are true, it is the work
Sven> of the package maintainer to provide those, aided by the numerous bug reports
Sven> we get from the porters if the build dependencies are bad.

Sven> That said, normally each package has listed in it's INSTALL/README the
Sven> dependencies, though in an informal way.

Sven> Maybe a kind of more formal dependency listing would be nice, which would be
Sven> shared by all ocaml related sources, and may then be filled in the
Sven> corresponding debian/rpm control files.

The good thing about CPAN the module, and really the whole Perl build
and install scheme, when it works, is precisely that it eases
installation of tarballs [1] _which are not (yet) available_ in the
native OS binary form; and it does this in a way that doesn't conflict
with the OS installation.  That is, the distinction it makes between

I believe this point is really fudamental to the Perl scheme, and is
really what people mean when they use the term "CPAN" in this thread.
To behave like that, yes we do need formal dependencies in the
tarballs, completely independent of the dependencies an OS packager
might add at the time of creating a binary package, and exploited in a
uniform way by the tarball installation process (even if it is only
for a check target, as Perl does it).

I think the present findlib already does this, when configured
properly; let's keep this functionality whichever way Ocaml
build/install is eventually implemented.

[1] I intentionally use the term "tarball" here to emphasise the
distinction from "packages" which are things the OS maintainer (not
the software author) makes.

Ian Zimmerman, Oakland, California, U.S.A.
The easiest way to win an argument: ridicule your opponent's basic
assumptions by stating their negation and postfixing it with ", right?"
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