Found CONFLICTS: ...

Michel Talon talon at
Sun Oct 5 22:02:00 UTC 2008

On Sun, Oct 05, 2008 at 04:24:46PM -0500, Scot Hetzel wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 3:25 PM, Michel Talon <talon at> wrote:
> > Jan Henrik Sylvester wrote:
> >
> >> Should all CONFLICTS be documented?
> >
> > I think CONFLICTS should be treated by ignoring them completely.
> > They cause no end of troubles in Debian, for very little if any
> > usefulness.
> >
> > What is the problem if you install texi2dvi one way or another?
> >
> There are several problems:
> 1. These two texi2dvi programs might have a different set of
> arguments, that other programs rely on.
> 2. When upgrading the ports, which port is the one that installed
> texi2dvi, as the last port upgraded has it's texi2dvi installed.
> 3. When removing either teTeX-base-3.0_14 or texinfo-4.11, it has the
> unwanted side effect of also removing /usr/local/bin/texi2dvi from the
> system, which may affect the operation of one of the other programs
> that relies on texi2dvi.
> These same problems also applies to libraries, config files, man
> pages, and other documentation.
> Scot

Of course, but all these problems are far less annoying than the
problems coming from overzealous CONFLICTS notifications, which can
completely ruin your mental health. After all, if some program goes
astray after having removed some apparently unrelated port, the simple
solution is to reinstall this program, and its dependencies. Problem is
almost a non problem. Of course the good solution is that ports
developers try to avoid conflicts by choosing appropriate names, but in
general this would require considerable work, or install everything in
its own directory and use symlinks in "public" directories
(/usr/local/bin,etc.) like Debian does, which promptly creates a
terrible mess. I think that CONFLICTS is a cure with worse effects than
the disease.


Michel TALON

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