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Re: Software/HD ecology (was Re:...Bug in Emacs 21.3.50)


From: Ajanta
Subject: Re: Software/HD ecology (was Re:...Bug in Emacs 21.3.50)
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 03:51:15 GMT
User-agent: Thoth/1.5.10 (Carbon/OS X)

 Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote:

> > "EnglishOnly" 
> And "FrenchOnly" and "GermanOnly" and "EnglishAndFrenchOnly" and
> "ChineseAndEnglishOnly" and ... ?
> Or are you going to claim that we should not care about non-English users ?

Well, there are *hundreds* of langauges in the world: which one would
you not want to "care" about? Sooner or later "internationalization"
has got to mean not just *adding* things but also *selecting* them.
Maybe this should be done at configure stage, via options, or
interactively, oe some other way. It is for the programmers to figure
out the best way, but the time to start thinking about it is now.

> > Why is that comparable with the clutter of tens of MB and 100's of files
> > scattered around?
> 
> Could you expand on your "scattered around" ?

I didn't keep a tally but here is an example. I recently I obtained a
beta distribution (not emacs) which didn't work out (fair enough,
that's a known risk in beta) and I deleted it. Or so I thought. I still
keep running into some files from it. What gives me pause is that these
are the ones I recognize because of the way they are named. There are
many whose names mean nothing to me, I don't know which program they
belong to, so they'll lie around. (At first, I did take a shot in the
dark and tried "make uninstall", but it didn't work.)

As I mentioned in the beginning post of this thread, the distribution
of Emacs 21.3.50 that I got for Mac OSX has *three* executables of
identical size but different inodes. This makes no sense at all.

A
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Subject: Re: Software/HD ecology
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Stefan Monnier wrote:

> As maintainers, it's in our own interest to keep things uncluttered,
> so we strive to find some logic to things such that we can organize our
> files and keep files in their logical place...I don't claim that the current
> arrangement is perfect, but it takes time and energy to think about how 
> to make it better and to fix the various places where things aren't 
> consistent and logical, so help is most welcome.

Kai Großjohann wrote:

> Writing these few extra lines is a LOT of work. Most important of all, it's 
> not clear what to delete.  There would be *endless* arguments about which 
> files to remove and which files to keep.  Emacs consists of 2297 files (on 
> my system), it's very difficult to untangle dependencies on them.

I would like to offer a few general suggestions for any large program,
not just emacs.

First of all, you should have a clear idea as to which files are needed
to complie the program but not to run it later, and which ones will be
needed forever to run the program. It is a sorry state of affairs if
the creators and maintainers themselves don't know the "dpendencies";
that indicates serious future troubles and the sooner one starts
correcting the situation the better.

1. You need "clean" and "distclean" to recover from failed compile
attempts. I think most programs do have this. (Personally, I might just
re-open the .tar file and start over.)

2. Once the program compiles, and works fine, the user should be able
to delete all files that were needed in compiling but will not be
needed in running it, or in uninstalling it.

3. Finally, should the user decide that this is not his kind of progam,
there should be an uninstall option that does safely and cleanly remove
everything. He should not have to go around checking in various bin,
share, libexec, man, lib, doc directories, etc., and guessing just
which files might belong to the program he wants to delete.

This seeme to be a minimum framework for responsible software
distribution.

4. As for languages, this is an early stage in globalization and the
"bloat" is perhaps manageable, but in a few years we may see support
for hundreds of languages and dozens of scripts. We would need to
enable a user to select what he needs and skip the rest.

Anil Trivedi
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From: Miles Bader <address@hidden>
Date: 12 Dec 2002 13:58:11 +0900
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Anil Trivedi <address@hidden> writes:
> 1. You need "clean" and "distclean"
> 2. Once the program compiles, and works fine, the user should be able
>    to delete all files that were needed in compiling but will not be
>    needed in running it, or in uninstalling it.
> 3. Finally, should the user decide that this is not his kind of progam,
>    there should be an uninstall option
> This seeme to be a minimum framework for responsible software
> distribution.

Well, at least this is less vague that what you said before, but since
emacs already does all these things*, what's your complaint?

Do you want to report a bug with one of the make targets?

-Miles

* You need to do `make install' before (2), but that's alright
-- 
Fast, small, soon; pick any 2.



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