Ports with GUI configs

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Thu Nov 15 12:35:51 PST 2007

Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 12, 2007 at 08:23:23PM -0500, Chuck Robey wrote:
>> This makes a little file of descriptor words, but it's not set so a 
>> regular editor can manipulate it; the special ports program is needed to 
>> set or reset this list.  All ports query this list in making the 
>> decision as to whether or whether not to include a particular port as a 
>> dependency.
> Ugh.  As far as I'm concerned, everything that pertains to system
> configuration should always be human-readable and editable without
> special tools.  Trying to insulate things from human ability to directly
> manipulate them tends to lead to rapidly increasing difficulty of
> debugging configurations.

I might have agreed with this, except, I have lived for a good while 
with the Gentoo "USE" lists, and I can tell you that having insufficent 
control over what goes ontp those lists causes havoc both with the users 
trying to select the proper wording of the lists, and the programmers 
trying to decide how to have a particular USE keyword represent a 
particular ports usage.  You have to make certain that both users and 
programmers have a definite, firm meaning in mind when they use the 
keywords, because (in another's well chosen words) if you don't, USE 
lists are a PITA.  It takes firmer control of meaning to make certain 
that the list doesn't devolve into that.

This is actual experience talking, in this case.

>> I left out one last point> there will be a reject list: a list of port 
>> names or regular expression patters, of ports that can't be installed 
>> under any circumstances.
> I *love* this idea!
> /me starts cobbling together a list of things that start with 'k' or 'g',
> preparing for that future date when this is possible.
Yes, that was my own feeling.

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