the forest through the trees or my $.02

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Thu Jun 28 05:04:11 PDT 2001

>   4) unless Linux-From-Scratch is intended to be built from VMS or some other

would be nice

>   5) 99% of the build and installation process occurs from within a makefile
> which uses basic unix commands and the bourne shell. (refer to point 3)

Ok, but who are we to decide that the basic unix utils are good enough
for certain situations. Read my other email posted today that talks
about possible alternate cp programs (say a secure-cp program rather
than the basic cp). Then again cp may be a bad example, but the idea can
be stretched along to compilers, linkers, etc. If you're cross-compiling
ALFS which shouldn't be hard to do if we setup a good xml setup, you
would not want to use /usr/bin/gcc but another compiler.
> In liew of the things, i think that the syntax for the pre & post install
> commands should be something simple like:
> <command>cp -R dir dest</command>
> or if you want to go down the route of customization:
> <!-- this user data entity could be in another doc -->
> <user_data key="cp_options" val="-p"/>
> <command>cp -R <user_data key="cp_options"> dir dest</command>

Coming back to the statement made above and in my other email: you don't
know for a fact that -R is available on the 'cp' you are assuming that
somebody has. Parameters to cp and other basic utils may not change much
or are the same on every system, but when it comes to other programs you
don't want to rely on that. Perhaps you really need to use a non-gcc
compiler that works pretty much the same but has a less parameters (say
-malign_double doesn't exist, you could get an error when passing that,
unless you describe it as something. Then you can decide whether you use
it (by assigning a value to the description) or leave it blank if it's
not supported on your choice of cc).

Perhaps I'm really overkilling this issue by wanting to be too versatile
and modular and try to accomodate too much. But if this is at all
possible and easily done, why not. The less we force upon people, the
better ALFS will be accepted and used I think.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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