r8219 - in trunk/BOOK: . gnome/add introduction/welcome

Randy McMurchy randy at linuxfromscratch.org
Tue Jan 19 06:50:43 PST 2010

Wayne Blaszczyk wrote these words on 01/19/10 07:58 CST:
> Randy,
> Most of my Recommend dependency choices are done based on a set of rules
> that I go by. That is, if an optional dependency that is not going to be
> used and requires an explicit optional switch to disable that
> dependency, then I put it as a recommend dependency. The reasoning
> behind this is that I feel that the developer wants you to used that
> dependency.

This goes strictly against policies set by BLFS for years. BLFS disables
optional dependencies, and puts the --disable-whatever on the command
line. Only in extenuating circumstances have we varied from that policy.

> The above example with gnome-mount is such a case where if
> nautilus is not installed, then the configure script will complain about
> it being missing unless the -disable-nautilus-extension option is specified.

BLFS has policy that does it differently. BLFS does not care what the
developer thinks we should do, BLFS allows the user to make those
decisions. BLFS' job is to identify to the readers what the dependency
is used for (if it is not obvious). Then the readers chooses.

> Another reason why I would make something as recommended, is if that
> optional dependency is a requirement to an upstream package and that the
> package in question is only used by that upstream package.

You'll have to rephrase that for me. I don't really understand what you
mean. :-(

> The reason why I have mostly ( i have in a few) not been putting any
> explanations is that I don't know exactly what those options actually
> do. This was something that I was going to go back to and review once I
> had gone through all the Gnome packages. I do realize that this is a
> community project and if someone has an objection to something that I
> have done, I quite happy to make those changes. I didn't see anyone
> complain so I thought everything was ok. I might have missed some posts
> so I do apologize for that.

No worries. We can fix everything. Keep in mind that I did keep up GNOME
for years, and I still have an interest in it, that is why I said I'd go
through and review all these recommended dependencies.

> The recommended dependencies is not a big deal to me and I'm quite happy
> to remove all of them if that's what is desired. But what I would like
> to see is some clear cut rules on when to use them. Maybe the editors
> guide should have a section on this.

This has always been sticky since we adopted a "Recommended" dependency
in some packages. I wish we had not now. It initially was used only if
a package was crippled without the dependency installed, or important
functionality was missing if the dependency was not installed.

If something adds functionality, but the package works and builds just
fine (even if we have to add the --disable-whatever) I would prefer to
simply identify in the Optional section the purpose of something in
parenthetical notation. That way our readers make those choices of what
is installed and what is not.

I remember long ago when the Gimp-Print package was Recommended during
a GIMP update. I didn't think it was proper. Many readers such as
myself don't use GIMP to print, only to edit for online use. I print
photographs using a different application. Yes, the editor should have
some say, but it must be reasonable. Forcing our readers to install
something they may not need or use is against the "Your Distro, Your Rules"
motto of the entire LFS project.

Again, no big deal. I just thought I'd mention that this was discussed
not too long ago, and we came to the conclusion that we would let the
readers be the judge as to what is installed and what is not.


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