New pkg-message[.in] guideline idea

Janne Snabb snabb at
Thu Jun 24 03:40:54 UTC 2010

On Wed, 23 Jun 2010, David DEMELIER wrote:

> 2010/6/23 Janne Snabb <snabb at>:
>> I find it completely useless and plainly stupid to edit the
>> pkg-messages of all ports to include lots of equal signs for tty-based
>> formatting purposes.
> We can take a long time to do that (we don't have to do it quickly),
> but it could be useful to standardize it for one reason :
> You will see that it's a message from the port maintainer/submitter
> and not from the program itself! Sometimes configure scripts stage say
> some useless things to the user.

You obviously did not get my point.

I fully agree with you that displaying a line of equals signs on
tty based interfaces to make the messages stand out from other crap
when installing ports makes sense, but I STRONGLY oppose to the
idea of putting this visual formatting in the actual message files.
It is just not the right place to put it in.

As I pointed out in my previous message, these messages are displayed
by various different means for different purposes by different
pieces of software (on tty, through GUI, on web sites, etc). Some
of that software does not exist right now, but may be implemented
in future (I am thinking here of for example a Synaptic like tool
for managing the installed software).

A line of equals signs looks good on a 80 character wide tty screen
when the important message is surrounded by other non-important
output, but it just looks stupid when displayed by a GUI or on a
web site. Putting the visual cues in pkg-messages files would require
every other display mechanism to have a logic to strip them out
(for example when displaying the message on X display as a word-wrapped
pop-up-window of random width).

Why not just change the current display logic to emit these visual
cues on a tty when installing ports? It is a single edit to a single
file and does not introduce useless clutter in approximately 2209
pkg-message* files in the ports tree.

I do realize that many of the current pkg-messages do include similar
visual visual formatting already in a non-standard way. One port
uses equals signs, another port uses hyphens, etc. Those should be
all removed from pkg-messages when the ports infrastructure displays
a standardized visual separator automatically.

I do not oppose to the other related ideas (such as making a logic
to optionally display a part of a message only when some option was

Janne Snabb / EPIPE Communications
snabb at -

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