Optional packages and configure options that require them

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 07:15:55 PST 2008

Randy McMurchy wrote:
> ag at linuxfromscratch.org wrote these words on 02/26/08 14:01 CST:
>> +<screen><userinput>./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-graphics &&
>> +make</userinput></screen>
>> +    <para><option>--enable-graphics</option>: This switch enables support
>> +    for graphics mode. You will either need to install the
>> +    <application>X</application> Window System or enable frame buffer support in
>> +    your kernel and install <xref linkend="gpm"/>.</para>
> Could you please make the graphics option an optional choice and
> not the default. This is a major stray from all other packages.
> We don't use something by default if it requires an "optional"
> dependency or configuration (X or framebuffer).

Hm. You are suggesting Ag that he puts into the book configuration options other 
than he regularly uses. Ag has certainly tested Links with the --enable-graphics 
option. If we continue this route with other packages, we'll end up with a 
situation when the readers will completely ignore the default BLFS ./configure line.

Additionally, Links is the only browser that works without X and has a 
fully-working support for graphics (in w3m, graphics may disappear when 
scrolling) and it seems to be unwise to hide this capability and remove it by 

(Yes, that's a request to change the policy about configuration options that 
require optional packages, that's why I am cross-posting to blfs-dev. My 
proposal is to list the options that the editor has used, and, below that, a 
list of optional dependencies that they imply as a minimum, and a list of 
optional dependencies actually installed by the editor who updated the page.)

Alexander E. Patrakov

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