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Re: [Chicken-users] Eggology

From: Shawn Rutledge
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] Eggology
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 19:22:43 -0700

Nice graphs!  I was thinking the same thing (but of course, wouldn't
have gotten around to actually doing it).

I think code reuse is generally a good thing.  As long as there is no
circular dependency, what's wrong with depending on a few eggs?  It's
better than rewriting the parts you need, right?  (and if your few
dependencies each depend on few more, pretty soon it's a lot of eggs.
Oh well.)

But it's important for popular eggs to be kept in a working state, and
not change existing APIs in them when avoidable.

Another way to look at it, is that depending on an egg when you only
need 10% of its functionality is a waste of memory.  So then you'd
want to have smaller eggs (and more of them), which tends to increase
the dependency "problem".

It's no different than what is happening with Gentoo... several times
I've had stuff be temporarily broken because a dependency won't
compile, or won't compile when I turn on a config option that I'd
really like to have turned on.  It's not a nice experience when that
happens, but is sometimes unavoidable due to the philosophy of the
distro (always the latest stuff and you compile everything).  As with
Linux distros, one way around it is to have binary releases
periodically, in which everything is guaranteed to work together
properly (because it's all been pre-compiled and tested).  If Chicken
plus a bunch of eggs got included in Debian or Cygwin, that would be
happening (or is it already?)  So far Chicken is more like Gentoo than
it is like Debian.

Like I just upgraded libexpat (because I was installing the expat egg,
and without thinking about it too much I figured I ought to use the
latest 2.x expat rather than 1.95 or whatever it was).  That ended up
requiring upgrades and recompiles of nearly everything on my Gentoo
system, because they changed the library name from to  I'm still not done recompiling everything, and had to
switch to WindowMaker for a while because KDE takes forever to
compile.  It's annoying, but what would you say, that it's wrong for
so many packages to use expat?  They should all write their own XML
parsers?  or include their own copies of expat in their own source
trees?  (like SlimServer does with a lot of dependencies... I find
that annoying)  But now that expat is so popular it obviously cannot
have quick and/or revolutionary API changes.  If it ain't broke,
fixing it will be a very unpopular choice (and the fact that it's
popular pretty much means by definition that it ain't broke).  That
will tend to happen with a lot of eggs too.

Maybe staged releases will become important... make a clear
distinction between the stable version of an egg and the
new/improved/under-development version.  When one egg depends on an
older version of another (and will not work with a newer version)
maybe there should be a way to specify that in the metadata, so that
installing the one egg can automatically install the older version of
the other.  (Or can they even co-exist?)  Gentoo's portage system can
do stuff like that.

On 22 Aug 2007 22:14:23 -0300, Mario Domenech Goulart
<address@hidden> wrote:

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