Dejan Lesjak dejan.lesjak at ijs.si
Fri Jul 14 10:58:21 UTC 2006

On Friday 14 July 2006 08:58, Maxim Sobolev wrote:
> What's the gain? 

I believe I mentioned some of gains in first mail. There is also the benefit 
of less divergence to upstreams as ./configure scripts of various ports 
use /usr/local as default prefix, but more importantly as modular X.org is 
becoming more widespread there is tendency of various packagers (for example 
Linux distributions already mentioned) to install all packages under same 
prefix. We expect that if we follow that trend, we would make maintainers and 
users' lives a bit easier in the long run.

> Transition will be a really big PITA for most existing 
> users. Everybody who would be trying to install a KDE/GNOME or even a
> general X11 port after a switchover still having all X11 bits in
> /usr/X11R6 is likely to be screwed on build time, due to mismatching
> includes/libraries search paths. And I am not even telling about
> run-time problems with datafiles in KDE/GNOME.

Having two prefixes we could also be just papering over some of the conflicts 
that could result in mysterious, hard to detect errors that could perhaps be 
detected sooner if we had only one prefix and thus easier to find if two 
ports conflict by installing file with same name. Message
could be example of such case.
As for KDE/GNOME, it was thought that converting GNOME would present one of 
major hurdles at transition. With responses so far, perhaps things are not so 
horrible as I feared though. GNOME team is already planning the transition 
and we'll see how it fares. If it is indeed found out that the pain of 
transition overweights gains then it can still be decided to keep /usr/X11R6 
prefix. The X11 team is rather hoping this will cause less pain in the long 
run for everybody - as far as X.org 7 ports themselves go, they right now 
already happily build and install under /usr/X11R6 prefix so going with it 
would save us some time, but we think we would loose the opportunity to 
handle PREFIX transition that way.

> The only way to handle such a merge for ordinary Joe User would be to
> remove all X11 bits and pieces and compile/install everything from
> scratch. 

That would be exactly the reason I believe the upgrade to X.org 7.x would be 
the best time to do that with X.org ports - all X11 bits and pieces would 
have to be upgraded at that time anyway with a good chance that at least some 
of dependencies on X11 would have to be upgraded as well. If it is agreed 
upon that /usr/X11R6 -> /usr/local as default is the way to go, then it would 
be better to do it at that time, rather than doing it sometime later and 
cause pain for users twice.

> And despite what X11 maintainers may believe (due to the nature 
> of their position they
> compile/install/remove/compile/install/remove/.../ad infinite all X11
> bits and pieces every day), ordinary Joe User doesn't like such gross
> upgrades, since even with the best packaging system in the world
> virtually any such upgrade will bring new unanticipated problems to the
> system that otherwise has been working before upgrade just fine.

Due to the change in X.org 7.x, namely the switch to modular packages, there 
will already be a bit of pain for users to upgrade. If we generally agree 
upon /usr/local prefix then perhaps doing it at the same time might mean a 
bit more concentrated pain at one time, but at the same time make transition 
shorter than doing the two transitions at separate times.

> Therefore, I doubt that such "pull the trigger" approach is really going
> to work in this case. Some more gradual course is in due: with X11R6
> being banned as a target for a new ports, with new GNOME version moving
> to the LOCALBASE and so on.

I seem to have phrased my mail a bit weird. There's no intention of "pulling 
the trigger", say tomorrow and pull the rug from under users' and 
maintainers' feet. Of course we would like to do things gradually so to hurt 
users and maintainers the least as possible. The mail was meant to indicate 
the general direction of where we would like to go with X.org ports as far as 
PREFIX is concerned, to prompt people to voice their 
disagreements/agreements, and to find out how we can do it so as to cause as 
little pain as possible. It should certainly not be viewed as "we plan to 
import X.org 7 into ports next week and make /usr/local default prefix so 
deal with it". If it sounded like that I do apologize.


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