Ports with GUI configs

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Thu Nov 15 14:16:05 PST 2007

On Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 03:34:26PM -0500, Chuck Robey wrote:
> 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 don't see how that translates into "the user should not be allowed to
view what's going on behind the scenes in a text editor if (s)he wants

CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
W. Somerset Maugham: "The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for

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