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Re: [Axiom-developer] Ebuild underway - success

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Ebuild underway - success
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 10:28:21 -0800 (PST)

--- root <address@hidden> wrote:

> C Y,
> Could you document the steps you took to create the ebuild?
> We need to capture the expertise as much as we need to capture
> the final results. 

Well, there wasn't a whole lot of expertise involved - it was basically
trial and error until I found the set of ebuild incantations that
worked.  Think of it as writing a configure or make script, only
simpler.  The only tricky part was figuring out how and where to set
the AXIOM and PATH variables - with that attended to, everything else
is pretty much in the Axiom build scripts' ballpark.  I was afraid it
would be hard, but on the whole it's quite simple thanks to Axiom's
self-contained build nature.

>From here on, it will basically be tweaking the ebuild to adapt to any
changes in the Axiom build process, providing patches if needed, and
figuring out the proper dependancies to list.  Typically this is done
on the site, with some help from upstream if they are
interested and the bug is non-ebuild specific.  Gentoo users often have
newer libraries than average, so they sometimes hit unusual problems.

> In fact, eventually a 'make ebuild' is probably in order.

Uh...  I'm not really sure if a "make ebuild" command would make any
sense.  An ebuild is, in some sense, a gentoo-specific set of building
instructions, unlike deb and rpm files which are actual bundles of the
software.  It's (probably) not something Axiom will need to distribute
- once the set of instructions is put in the gentoo ebuild tree, if
someone wants to install axiom the ebuild essentially tells the
computer what to do.  If patch files are needed to the base tarball,
those are provided as well. Essentially, an ebuild has the following

a)  where to download the software (providing a gentoo mirror doesn't
have it, if it does it is downloaded from there first.)

b)  Any support software needed (X, tetex, etc)

b)  how to unpack and configure the software for building, including
any patches needed for gentoo specifically

c)  how to build it, and install it

So in essence, Axiom doesn't have to worry about the ebuild except to
have someone check that everything is working.  Gentoo takes the
vanilla release tarball, and works with that to make things happen.  If
you're familiar with the BSD ports tree, gentoo uses the same basic
idea.  For example, with the current ebuild in bugzilla I have one
patch which changes the ./configure options for gcl.  Normally this is
not needed, but on gentoo system the more conservative settings are
needed, so I provide a patch making this change.  With
axiom--main--1--patch--18 the gcl settings have moved, so I created a
new patch for that.  (I've yet to complete a successful ebuild with
axiom--main--1--patch--18, so I'm not sure if something else will be
needed.  At one point the Axiom terminal interface popped up and CPU
and disk activity went to zero, which doesn't seem right.)  Other than
that, if all that needs to be done is change the location of the
tarball in the ebuild, point it to the new patches, and away it goes.

That said (pant pant), did you have something specific in mind for
"make ebuild" Tim?  Just because I don't see it doesn't mean I'm not
missing something.

Now, in some cases there are binary ebuilds that are maintained as
alternatives to the source ebuilds, in the case of VERY large software
like OpenOffice.  I don't know whether one is needed for Axiom - I
suspect the users will let us know. :-).


P.S.  Oh, one other neat feature - as Axiom becomes known to compile on
other platforms than x86 (maybe it already does?) there are flags in
the ebuild which can be set to indicate it works on, say PPC.

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