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Re: [PATCH 3/3] gnu: Add octave and dependencies

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: [PATCH 3/3] gnu: Add octave and dependencies
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 09:20:15 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:11:14AM +0100, Ludovic Court??s wrote:

     > Ok.  Andraes' and Ludo's explanations convince me.  However I'm 
skeptical that
     > the Octave devs would be quite so convinced.  And removing the 
     > will mean patching to the Octave source and I don't know how difficult 
this will be.
     The patch that would be great upstream is:
       AC_PATH_PROG([MAKEINFO], [makeinfo])
     and then use address@hidden@??? wherever ???makeinfo??? is expected in the 
     (similarly for ???less???, etc.)


Having thought about this some more, looked to see what is currently in the 
octave source and "discussed" the issue on #octave I think now the best solution
is to simply remove all the propagated-inputs from the package (and leave inputs
and native-inputs as they are).  Rationale:

* Octave "works" without all these programs (albeit in a rather featureless 
  fashion).  If a user wants to add the feature, then she just needs to 
  guix package -i <foo>.
* It seems to have been a deliberate decision by the octave developers to rely 
  on $PATH to select the appropriate version of these external programs.
* Changing this behaviour would involve alterations to the octave source 
  many files, and I think upstream would be unlikely to cooperate with us.

The disadvantage of this approach is, that a guix user who installs octave, but 
not the other packages, gets only a barely functional version.  Perhaps we need 
a (recommended-inputs `(...)) like in debian.



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