[RFC] profile editing within nALFS: how much do you really want it?

Hui Zhou zhouhui at wam.umd.edu
Sun Mar 14 06:10:09 PST 2004

On Sun, Mar 14, 2004 at 12:50:16AM -0700, Kevin P. Fleming wrote:
> Anyone out there who really, really, _really_ wants to be able to edit 
> profiles from within nALFS please speak up...
I haven't tested the newer version nALFS since half a year ago. Is the
basic editing funcution during running still exist? I didn't mean to
edit the original xml, but the ability to modify the parsed contents
to make adustments. Although it's painful to use, but at least
something to use. As it won't save correctly anyway, I don't see it
has to be removed even the parsing was moved to the backend.

This function is not being used often mostly because the lack of
ability to save changes. So I am thinking of providing some way of
saving those changes into seperate file which can even be custom
format so one can later incorporate it into original profile.

In short, my opinion on this is: Without the ability to dynamically
adjusting the build scripts, the nALFS has little advantage for a lfs
builder like me who like to experimenting different build than the
book. Each time I have to manually test out the build script and take
the pain to edit the profile. There is not much saving in editing against 
a flat bash script. Please don't take me wrong. I am not denying the
value of nALFS. It has a well maintained profile so make it very
easier for use without messing with the instructions. The profile is
standardized so facilitates sharing. It has logging may function
toward a useful package manager (Is that one of the developing
directions?) It has other benefits that I havn't realized yet. But I
do value the profile editing ability.

After some thinking, Is it possible to develop some algorithm to
enable dynamic reloading the profile and compare the contents to find
the changes? With this ability, one can dynamically editing the
profile from outside using favorate edittor, and nALFS can reload the
profile without losing its status and can continue from where it
stops. The only commponent to be add is some way of maintaining the
flags, but correct me if i am wrong.
It was understood this won't be a minor feature enhancement. It
is just a wish list item.

Thanks for bearing with me :-)

-Hui Zhou

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