Not just desktops; too many libraries as well

Walter Dnes waltdnes-SLHPyeZ9y/tg9hUCZPvPmw at
Sun Nov 20 05:59:43 UTC 2005

On Sat, Nov 19, 2005 at 11:47:43AM -0500, Kevin Cozens wrote

> Unfortunately, it seems that packagers either can't, don't, or
> won't build a package making some dependencies optional. ie. if some
> additional library is available extra functionality is available. If
> some additional library isn't available and you don't need the
> features of that library it is still happy to get installed and
> still works properly.

  That's the problem with binary (e.g. rpm) distros.  You *CAN'T* make
dependancies optional.  The developer builds an rpm that functions on
his machines, and it ends up being linked to everything he's got
installed.  If you want to run it on your machine, you *MUST* match the
dependancies the developer compiled.  The only other option is for the
developer to build a separate rpm for each possible permutation of
optional dependancies.  That's simply the way rpm/binary distros work.

  Source-based distros like Gentoo have a major advantage here.
Optional stuff is/isn't built depending on my use flags.  Gentoo will
also pull in mandatory dependancies, and build them first, if necessary.
For instance, I install just a basic console-only setup to get Gentoo
working.  Then I "emerge gimp".  Gentoo realises that it needs gtk, and
gtk needs X, which needs a bunch of other libs, etc, etc.  Several hours
of disk-grinding later, I have a functional X system with TWM, and Gimp
runs fine.

> I have already noticed a number of packages/libraries for stuff I
> don't want or feel I will ever use (like things to do with Ogg/Vorbis,
> and LDAP to name two that I can recall at the moment). Since they are
> "required" I can't get rid of them.

  I go to greater lengths than usual to keep my system from being too
bloated.  I don't need PAM on a single-user home machine, thank you.
What *REALLY* got me annoyed was the day that the Gentoo developers
decided to make "ipv6" a default USE flag.  It is *NOT* fun watching
mplayer spin its wheels waiting 45 seconds, or whatever, waiting for an
IPV6 query of a URL to time out before it tries an IPV4 query which
returns almost immediately.  After that fiasco, I set "-*" (I.e. block
all dependancies) followed by a list of dependancies that I do want.

Walter Dnes <waltdnes-SLHPyeZ9y/tg9hUCZPvPmw at> In linux /sbin/init is Job #1
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