./options-descr file suggestion for ports

David Southwell david at vizion2000.net
Sat Jun 9 20:45:31 UTC 2007

On Saturday 09 June 2007 11:20:21 Benjamin Lutz wrote:
> On Saturday 09 June 2007 18:36, David Southwell wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > Would it be possible , when a port has options,  to ask porters if
> > they would consider the merits/demerits of adding:
> >
> > 1. An ./options-descr file in the port directory that describes  the
> > options, their purpose and any notes about an option
> >
> > Reasons:
> > This would be extremely useful for anyone not familiar with the port
> > to help in the task of choosing which options to install.
> >
> > I realise that this would depend upon whether maintainers are willing
> > to add an additional task to the already heavy burden they undertake.
> > Maintainers who are willing to consider this idea but are reluctant
> > to prepare the notes themselves but do not have the time or are for
> > any reason reluctant to do so, could invite users to submit notes for
> > incorporating in ./options-descr.
> >
> > By way of example I am just installing www/ruby-gem-rails and had no
> > immediate idea whether or not to add fastcgi support without trying
> > to find out whether it is or is not needed when one has mod_ruby
> > installed and
> > LoadModule ruby_module libexec/apache/mod_ruby.so
> > in httpd.conf. A brief note in a ./options-descr could be very
> > helpful, especially for some ports where the options are sometimes
> > numerous and not always completely documented.
> >
> > A little bit of intial guidance about options would be most helpful
> > to a system administrator who is not necessarily familiar with the a
> > specific port.
> >
> > my two pennorth.
> >
> > david
> I think that's a great idea. I've been wondering about the meaning of
> OPTIONS several times, and some canonical way to add a description
> would be quite nice.
> But maybe instead of adding another file, this could be integrated into
> the pkg-descr file, and the recorded package description after a port
> is installed could contain only those options that were selected,
> filtering out the description for the other options.
> Cheers
> Benjamin

Thanks for coming back on that. I think you make a good point but am 
uincertain whether ithe idea of incorporating the infoprmation in the 
pkg_descr would be well received by maintainers.

My thought was a seperate dedicated options-descr would not need to follow 
follows a predetermined format such as that used by pkg-descr. I wondered if 
a seperate file with a flexible a variable format that could include 
contributions from people other than the maintainer (if the maintainer so 
wished) could relieve the maintainer from the duty of having to draft the 

However I think the precise method of achieving the goal is less important and 
I would support either solution.


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