X11 automagic dependencies

Michael kensington at astralcloak.net
Tue Apr 17 19:40:19 UTC 2012

Alexander Neundorf <neundorf <at> kde.org> writes:

> On Tuesday 17 April 2012, Michael wrote:
> > Raphael Kubo da Costa <rakuco <at> FreeBSD.org> writes:
> > > Michael <kensington <at> astralcloak.net> writes:
> > > > Hi,
> > > > 
> > > > In kde-workspace, there are twelve optional X11 dependencies which are
> > > > automagic. I'd like to fix this by adding an option to disable at
> > > > configure time.
> > > 
> > > Have you hit any concrete problem due to these automagic dependencies?
> > > They are created by CMake's own FindX11.cmake and kde-workspace already
> > > seems to do some checks for some of the variables before using their
> > > features.
> > 
> > I have not encountered any problems per se - rather, it is the automagic
> > behaviour itself I find to be undesirable. In this case, adding an option
> > to disable doesn't change the default behaviour for users that don't care,
> > but is very handy for users that do.
> If there is no real demand for it or problem it fixes, then I'm against adding 
> unneeded complexity.
> Alex

The problem with automagic dependencies is not problems directly caused by their
use (as I interpreted Raphael's message to be about), but rather the undesirable
behaviour experienced downstream. (Sorry if I interpreted incorrectly or was

Practically, I'm proposing a patch because automagic dependencies do not play
nicely with source-based package management. If a package automagically links
against libfoo, there is no way for the package manager to know that it is
required. When libfoo is later removed (since there is no recorded dependency on
it), the package that automagically linked completely breaks.

Best regards,

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