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Re: Online GNUstep Application Database

From: comrade
Subject: Re: Online GNUstep Application Database
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 02:26:06 +1100
User-agent: Mutt/


> However a quick ldd on Calculator suggests it would be impractical. It
> seems to be linked to libungif, libpng12, etc beyond just the gnustep
> libs, which I assume is a limitation of the linux linker. OS X seems
> to have a funky linker which can refer to frameworks, hence isolating
> such dependencies.

It might not be such a big problem if we had a tool that can be used
at install-time by both GNUstep Make and whatever types of binary
installers (cli and gui?) people might want to use, to identify
dependencies and either inform the user about what steps they can
take to get the dependencies installed, or do it (perhaps automagically
on some platforms, thinking .deb or .rpm type things).

A package (GNUstep Make-based source directory, or a thin- or fat-binary
tgz) would contain some kind of normalised (*) list of dependencies -
for the binary case it'd be easier if it was located in the plaform-
specific subdirectory as a plist or something.

At some point in the install process, these would get validated against
the running system, using a system-specific backend tool. That system-
specific backend tool could be invoked to inform the installing user
about the missing dependency and offer platform-dependent ways of
dealing with it.

So, my summary of the requirements would be something like:

The frontend would need to be able to check for GNUstep framework,
library, tool or application dependencies installation status, and
hand off to the platform-specific backend for platform-specific libraries,
headers, or programs.

The platform-specific backend would need to be able to check for
platform-specific library, header or program installation status
and using some kind of standardised option choose whether to use the
platform- specific package management toolset to install the dependencies.

It's do-able I think.

This should be implementable in makefiles and shell scripts with
a much lower level of effort than has already been invested in GNUstep
Make, and has the benefit of leveraging existing package management systems
for the individual platforms. I can see the problem of one-way
dependencies but perhaps the backends might implement solutions for

> Any suggestions as to whether this could be possible?

I think so, but I wonder whether there's interest. The system could
become a little useful even before a single backend is written.



*) The application or framework maintainers would have to maintain at
least the "normalised" dependency list - not mentioning any packaging
system's name for the dependency, but the well-known name of the dependency
package, the author's published version number, and a URL to the source.
The platform-specific dependency list would simply add the native
packaging system's name and an optional download URL for the package.

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