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Re: [Gnustep-cvs] r31321 - in /tools/make/trunk: ChangeLog GNUstep.conf.

From: David Chisnall
Subject: Re: [Gnustep-cvs] r31321 - in /tools/make/trunk: ChangeLog configure
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 10:36:08 +0100

On 17 Sep 2010, at 09:52, Yavor Doganov wrote:

> В Fri, 17 Sep 2010 09:30:51 +0100, Nicola Pero написа:
>>> FHS is a Linux 'standard', not a *NIX standard.
>> Actually, the FHS requires the same ;-)
> Right.  Also, it's incorrect to call it "Linux" standard.  

Sorry, a GNU/Linux standard or a GNU standard then (since it seems to be used 
by HURD and Debian/kFreeBSD too).

> The FHS is 
> derived from the GNU Coding Standards, which is perhaps the oldest 
> document describing a uniform layout & installation procedure (and yeah, 
> the GNUstep layout doesn't comply with it either).  

I'd dispute that.  Try typing man hier into an old UNIX system, and you'll find 
that the layout of the filesystem was described all the way back in AT&T UNIX, 
before GNU existed.

> The Linux kernel 
> works fine with non-FHS setup, and Linux developers have no influence on 
> the underlying layout at all, naturally.

Of course.  However, if you check the FHS, you'll note that:

1) The layout reflects most GNU/Linux systems.

2) The layout only has a passing similarity to *BSD and is very different from 

3) There is a Linux-specific annex, but no corresponding annex for any other OS.

> It is true that the most vocal group behind the FHS were people from 
> various GNU/Linux distros, but there were folks from the BSD community, 
> too (who insisted on libexecdir, IIRC).  And Sun/SGI/IBM/etc staff as 
> well.

They may have had input from some BSD developers, but it was never adopted by 
any BSD systems.  Sun, SGI, and IBM all shipped Linux distributions and 
software for Linux, so that's not really a counter argument.

> It's also a bit FUDdish to claim that Debian is the only distro insisting 
> on FHS.  Fedora/Red Hat has the same requirement, as well as all 
> derivatives (Ubuntu, CentOS, etc).  So is Mandriva and probably SuSE, if 
> I'm not wrong.  In fact, the FHS issues GNUstep had were precisely the 
> reason why it was not packaged for Fedora until recently.

To my knowledge, Debian is the only distribution that refuses to accept 
packages that do not conform to the FHS.  Fedora / RedHat might now - I've not 
used it for a while, but last time I did it came with GNUstep packages that 
didn't use FHS.  I know that we have packages for Arch, for Gentoo, for 
FreeBSD, for OpenBSD, and for NetBSD that do not use the FHS layout.  Debian 
might not be the only one, but Debian is the only one that I've seen on the 
list refusing to accept packages because they don't fit with their aesthetic.

If you configure GNUstep using the FHS layout on *BSD, it puts stuff in 
completely the wrong place (it puts GNUstep.conf in the wrong place with any 
configuration, unfortunately).

In my experience, having GNUstep packages that use FHS is worse than having no 
packages.  People complain that stuff doesn't work even though they have the 
GNUstep packages installed from their distribution.  You tell them to compile 
GNUstep from source, everything works, and they get a negative experience of 
GNUstep.  It's easier to help people when there is no GNUstep package for their 
system than when there is one that doesn't work.


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