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Re: autoconf defaults v.s. tradition

From: Stepan Kasal
Subject: Re: autoconf defaults v.s. tradition
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 20:11:42 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

Hello Chad

On Sun, Jan 01, 2006 at 03:27:44PM -0600, Chad Walstrom wrote:
> Stepan Kasal <address@hidden>  wrote:
> > I'm not sure whether it should be an "enable" option.  Perhaps
> > --directory-layout ?
> If it becomes part of the autoconf package itself, definitely.  Since
> it's currently (not created yet) supplementary, it should probably
> retain the "--enable-FEATURE" syntax.

I wanted to say that if you find time to develop this feature, I'd be
glad if you could develop it as a patch for Autoconf itself.
(There is no point telling the users about the feature and renaming
it a few weeks later.)
I hope there will be no protests against accepting it to Autoconf CVS.

> > And yes, your reasoning against pkg*dir variables seems to be valid,
> > at least in cases when your layout option is used.

On a second thought, I think the pkg*dir variables are justified:
if the maintainer thinks that the package contains so many data files
that they should not be placed flat to $prefix/share, they decide to
use pkgdatadir.  The programs know to look at $datadir/package/
If the datadir happens to contain /package/, there is no problem with
the extra level--the files are accessed by the program.
Similarly with pkgincludedir, the headers are accessed by
        #include <package/header.h>
and the preproseccor gets
        -I $includedir
and this works uniformly, no matter whether includedir contains
"/package/" or not.

> `docdir' (and `pkgdocdir') for example.  Most Linux distributions
> store package documentation (COPYRIGHT, README, contrib scripts,
> examples, etc.) in `/usr/share/doc/pkgname/' directories.

This is a different case: the docs are accessed mostly by the user,
not the program, so /usr/share/doc/pkgname/pkgname/ would be
really annoying.

The decision which $docdir shoudl be used for which package is
completely up to the distribution builder.  And it helps to know
that the package doesn't add it's own "/pkgname/" suffix.

To sum up, I believe the situation about pkg*dir can be left as is,
after all.

But I'm looking forward to the --directory-layout patch!  ;-)

Have a nice day,
        Stepan Kasal

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