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Re: The load path

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: Re: The load path
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 20:43:52 +0200

Hey folks,

Nice discussion. Sorry I was off the net for most of this. I'm replying
to Neil's mail because his POV represents the consensus, it seems. There
is one issue that still needs to be addressed.

On Sat, 2004-11-06 at 17:49 +0000, Neil Jerram wrote:
>   - Note that there is no need for a distribution mechanism to include 
> /usr/local in the %load-path, system-wide, because the distribution does 
> not use /usr/local.  If the sysadmin knows that the machine also 
> contains non-distribution-managed software in /usr/local, he/she can of 
> course add /usr/local to the load path in init.scm.  If a particular 
> user wants /usr/local, he/she can extend the load path in their .guile.

I disagree. When a user downloads an app, builds it and installs it,
they should be able to run it. On all configure scripts that I know
of, /usr/local is the default prefix. This is fine for C code: the
compiler will pick up headers, libs, and binaries from /usr/local, even
if the compiler comes from the distribution. Why should guile be any
different? Or to take your argument to its conclusion, why
include /usr/share/guile/site in the load path? After all, the distro
won't put anything there.

This is a bigger problem with libraries than apps, because apps can
munge the load path as appropriate.

Anyway, I hope I have convinced you of the bug report-hell lib and app
authors will get if the default install path isn't in the default guile
load path :)

>   - The set of %load-path directories is a distribution decision, not a 
> per-package decision.  In general, I think applications should be 
> strongly encouraged to install their Scheme code in one of the 
> distribution-wide %load-path locations, not in some application-specific 
> directory (which would then need to be added to %load-path).

Even for modules implementing functionality of an app, that aren't part
of its public interface? My instinct is to hide them, because then I
know they won't cause me problems in the future if someone uses them

>   - There is a handful of meta-packages (e.g. KDE, Gnome) that are so 
> big that it might make sense for them to have their own %load-path 
> location.

I'll write another email about this, it's a bigger topic.

Andy Wingo <address@hidden>

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