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Re: [Gnustep-cvs] r31321 - in /tools/make/trunk: ChangeLog GNUstep.conf.

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: [Gnustep-cvs] r31321 - in /tools/make/trunk: ChangeLog configure
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:37:51 +0100

On 12 Sep 2010, at 21:16, Riccardo Mottola wrote:

> Hi,
>>> I think that patch should be reverted for the time being.  Changing the 
>>> default choices
>>> has a massive impact because most users never deviate from the default! ;-)
>> Exactly why I did it ... after yet *ANOTHER* complaint from a user on the 
>> mailing list about being unable to use GNUstep because of the issue of the 
>> default installation not working.  I know that all the user has to do is 
>> read the INSTALL document or any of the installation HOWTOs etc and source 
>>, but the fact is that most people just don't bother.  IMO we need 
>> a system that just works.
> I think you both nail the point: people use the default, people want 
> something that work.
> I'm absolutely against having FHS as a default. It is against the 
> OpenStep/Cocoa philosophy! The best layout is the GNUstep layout with 
> prefix=/ in my opinion, although using /usr/GNUstep is sensible because it is 
> not such a great "clash" in a mixed environment.

Are you against it in every situation?
The reason I ask is that there are a few different cases to consider ...

1. Hopefully, increasingly,  people will be installing packages provided by 
their operating system distribution ... in which case the person who manages 
that package controls the filesystem layout, and the default in gnustep-make is 
irrelevant since it's not used.  I expect this is the largest group of users 
2. Similarly, there may be alternative packages provides ... eg a complete 
GNUstep desktop package ... which would again use the layout the package 
manager decides to use ... so the gnustep-make default is not used.
3. Experienced developers and users who habitually build from source will set 
whatever layout they like (and may even have more than one layout), and as long 
as my changes work properly, once they have set a preference it's recorded in 
their GNUstep.conf file so that the setting is retained when they update 
gnustep-make.  So again, the default is not used (though obviously the first 
time they encounter the change these people will need to set their preference 
to avoid using the default). 
4. An inexperienced developer installing from source ... this is the person who 
gets the default behavior.

I hope I haven't missed a group ... obviously my aim is to target the people in 
the last group ... someone who is trying GNUstep for the first time and for 
whom we want the code to just work with the default configuration.
Do you think that it's more important for these people to have stuff installed 
in a GNUstep file hierarchy than to have programs run and example code build?
If not, do you have a suggestion for a better way to improve the chances of 
GNUstep working for this fourth group.

One more thing to point out ... from the emails we occasionally get on the 
mailing list, it's clear that people in this fourth group exist and try GNUstep 
repeatedly until they either give up in disgust, read enough to sort things out 
themselves, or occasionally mail the rest of us for help.  My expectation is 
that the ones who give up will be telling other people and giving GNUstep a bad 
reputation ... I'd like to avoid that.

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