alfs Requirements [Was blank]

Thomas Trepl thomas at
Tue Oct 21 10:36:34 PDT 2008

Hi all,

allow me to add my two cents here. I take this thread as some "collect ideas 
and directions for a new {jh,}alfs".  If this is not the case, than sorry, I 
did missunderstood - ignore the rest.

I would like to add that one of the most disadvantages of the early alfs 
project was that there was a need to generate a seperate set of files where 
alfs can work on. This was fixed in jhalfs and therefore it was pretty easy 
to use. Even on own deviations from the "standard" book (something like 
uncommited version upgrades or so). For me, this is a plus when the tool can 
directly act on the books sources, just as Jeremy previously said.
Or, what about a new form of package description files where a {jh,}alfs 
program can easily act on and the books source (or major parts of it) could 
be created out of them. This could be sets of files which are more 
package-management-optimized. Dunno if this last sentences does make sense at 
Anyway, what I would say what is important for a new alfs is: Act directly on 
the primary sources.

Now, the language a new tool may be written in. Using such a tool does not 
raise the question in what language it is written and how does the output 
(commands that will be executed) does look like. The prime focus should be 
the usability. Btw, the UI of jhalfs is by far quite enough for such a kind 
of tool. But from a development perspective, Python may not be the worst 
choice. It seems to be very self-explaining and new developers seems to be 
productive quite quick. But I also agree to what Bruce has said: The ease of 
viewing etc.etc. is quite important, but if you write it in a readable way, C 
could match that too. But at the end of the day it does not really matter as 
long as the prerequisites to run the new tool are not to big. Just "download, 
unpack, cd into, make and run" is what it should look like and this works on 
full featured distros as well as on a quite newly set up LFS-system.
As a result, execution speed is by far not relevent for such a tool but the 
ease of using the product but also the ease of develop it.


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