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Re: Package request inxi

From: Chris Marusich
Subject: Re: Package request inxi
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2018 01:25:48 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

Pierre Neidhardt <address@hidden> writes:

> I'm trying to package inxi.  Does guix support optional dependencies?

Can you describe the "optional dependencies" in a little more detail?
Will certain features of inxi be available or unavailable depending on
whether or not a specific dependency is present during the build?  Or
perhaps at when running inxi after it has been built?

If by "optional dependency" you meant "an item of software that, when
present during the build, will enable a certain feature of inxi," then
the answer is: you should probably just write a package definition that
choose a reasonable set of inputs and configure flags as the default.
In Guix, it is possible to define a second package that "inherits"
attributes from the first but also has customized attributes.  Since
this is scheme, it is also possible to define a procedure that generates
a customized package.  Those are two popular ways to deal with this kind
of "optional dependency."

It's also worth mentioning that even if you accidentally specify an
input that isn't actually used, it isn't all bad.  Such inputs will
clutter up places like the package graph, and they will increase the
build time because they need to be built first (even though they are not
used).  However, they won't show up in the package's output, so they
will not contribute to the total size of the built package.


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