(Very) bogus package dependencies

Paul Schmehl pauls at utdallas.edu
Mon Dec 10 08:21:04 PST 2007

--On Monday, December 10, 2007 16:33:20 +0200 Andriy Gapon 
<avg at icyb.net.ua> wrote:
>> From a small research it seems that the only thing needed from cdrtools
> is isoinfo utility which gets called in FreeBSD-specific code
> (hald/freebsd/probing/probe-volume.c) like follows:
> isoinfo -p -i %s
> And it seems that its only usage is to detect presence of directories
> named 'VIDEO_TS|VCD|SVCD', so that properties like
> volume.disc.is_videodvd could be set.
> Maybe there is a way to write code for this functionality that could be
> included into hal source code or as a port patch, so that hal doesn't
> have to depend on cdrtools.

While I have no objections to this particular  suggestion, my question 
would be - where do you stop?  You could easily do this for hundreds (if 
not thousands of ports) that depend upon some other port because of one 
piece of code.

In general. port maintainers follow the guidelines of the software 
developer.  If the developer states that the software depends upon 
cdrtools, then the maintainer is going to include that dependency in the 
port.  Many of us don't have sufficient skill to audit code and determine 
where a dependency could be replaced by some additional code.

So, while this might make sense in isolated cases, I don't think it scales 
well.  Furthermore, modern machines generally have enough disc space that 
the addition of a few "unused" ports to include necessary code is a small 
price to pay to distribute the load of providing ports over a larger 
population of volunteers.  (And yes, I know not everyone has a modern 
machine or large discs to work with.)

Paul Schmehl (pauls at utdallas.edu)
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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