Questions about/issues with new OPTIONS framework

Warren Block wblock at
Mon Aug 6 16:34:25 UTC 2012

On Mon, 6 Aug 2012, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:

> (Please keep me CC'd, as I'm not subscribed to the list)
> 2. ports/KNOBS is very explicit in stating, and even visually
> demonstrating (using pipe symbols to delimit length maximums and so
> on), the following:
> #  - Knob description must be 45 characters or less
> Yet, a very good number of descriptions violate this (see the file for
> yourself).  I'm inclined to think the limit is to be extra friendly
> towards 80-column terminals, but I'm still not sure.  Is this
> 45-character-limit untrue, or are numerous descriptions blatantly too
> long?

On the older version of dialog(1) included with 8.x, longer descriptions 
trigger a bug that messes up the displayed menu.  As an example, try a 
'make config' on security/tripwire.

We should not limit the length of descriptions, many of which are 
already less than helpful to the user.

I wrote a wrapper script for dialog(1) that addresses the length 
problem, truncating long descriptions on 8.x and showing them in full on 
9.x.  It also makes the menu take advantage of larger terminals, showing 
more of the descriptions and more lines:

It makes no changes to ports or ports infrastructure.  However, so far 
there has been very little feedback.

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