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Re: optional or suggested dependencies

From: Magnus Eriksson <magetoo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 22:11:00 +0100 (CET)

On Mon, 14 Dec 2009, Pierre Abbat wrote:

On Monday 14 December 2009 09:33:19 justin@shiningsilence.com wrote:
There are options to pkgsrc packages, when building from source, that can
bring in optional features.

I don't think that's what I mean.
. ..
I can see why libvorbis would be a useful addition to mutt (someone sends you a Vorbis file and you want to play it), but I don't see why it should be *required*. So I'd call it an optional dependency.

AFAIK, pkgsrc does not have exactly the same concept as what you describe. However, options should be able to give you the equivalent functionality, at least in theory. (In practice it means the package maintainer has to do extra work, especially in testing, so many packages might not be "optionsified" when they should be.)

As I understand it, in the typical case, you pass an option "+foo" when building a package; then when pkgsrc builds the package, it pulls in package "libfoo" if required, runs the package's configure script with "--enable-foo", builds the package, and does the regular dependency magic in the system and/or binary tarball. No doubt there's all sorts of other things that can happen as well.

I would prefer the required / suggested model myself, but that's not going to happen in pkgsrc anytime soon.


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