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Re: More an autopackage

From: Michael Sweet
Subject: Re: More an autopackage
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 16:06:30 -0500

"Derek R. Price" wrote:
> ...
> I'm still thinking a two stage process is in order:  A script that
> scrapes the Makefile and a meta spec file (since the make process
> is invoking it this could simply mean it is passed the appropriate
> data) to create the package manager specific spec file and a
> package manager front end tool that accepts a uniform set of
> package manager commands and options and turns them into commands
> and options for the appropriate package manager and invokes it. 
> ...

I'm getting into this discussion a little late, but here are my

First, see:

and specifically:

"EPM", or the "ESP Package Manager", is a tool that does about 1/2
of what I think you want to do for an autopackage program/script.
Essentially what is currently available is a program that reads a
common "list" file format, generates a platform-specific "spec"
file, strips executables and copies files as needed, and runs the
appropriate command to build a platform-specific binary
distribution.  It also supports a "portable" distribution format
that uses shell scripts and tar files to do the dirty work of
installing and upgrading software.

What it doesn't do (yet) is provide a tool to automate the creation
of the list file.  Some things we've been playing with:

    1. Provide an install-sh like script that appends the installed
       file(s) or directories to and intermediate list file.  This
       will usually mean that you can wire existing apps' makefiles
       to install into the list file, which then can be used to
       build an actual distribution.

       The downside is that you have to somehow clear the existing
       list file before doing this, or only do it once, so that you
       have the correct set of files...

    2. Provide some sort of script or tool to scan makefiles,
       looking at the install targets and somehow figuring out
       what files are getting installed.  This is an ambitious
       project in itself, and probably isn't worth the trouble.

A third option in the context of an autopackage program is to
provide "AP" macros that are used to build both install rules
in the makefiles and entries in the list file.  This at least
reduces the amount of duplicate effort required between software
packaging files and Makefiles, and if done right would provide
all of the necessary information for a variety of systems.

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products                  address@hidden
Printing Software for UNIX             

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