splitting up distro packages (was: KDE 4 modules structure (again))

Malte S. Stretz msquadrat.nospamplease at gmx.net
Sun Mar 14 18:52:06 GMT 2004

May I add some points from the view of a KDE user who regularly compiles the 
current stable branch from CVS and tries to help squashing bugs...

On Sunday 14 March 2004 19:17 CET Maks Orlovich wrote:
> > simply due to the amount of effort it would take.  Look at gnome,
> > which is properly split up in every distro I know.
> Yeah, and as soon as I temporarily need one Gnome application to test
> something (say a bug report about copy-paste), I have 50-odd packages
> pulled in. Good luck uninstalling those. Frankly, Gnome is a good example
> of what not to do.

OTOH with KDE you have to pull a whole package if you use just one of the 
apps in there regularly. I have oodles of KDE apps on my system which I 
never ever use.

Even worse, if you really want/need to update just one app because you help 
debugging some bug (my way of contributing to KDE), you have a really bad 
time because the dependencies inside the modules aren't documented 
anywhere. Just try to compile KWin from a fresh CVS checkout. It will fail 
about five times until you manually compiled the other parts of kdebase it 

Finding these dependencies (and tracking their changes) is quite some work, 
done again and again by people outside of KDE (packagers, early adopters, 
bug hunter, ...) but it should be much easier for the people who to write 
the code to document this stuff *once* (and update it when some dependency 

> And minimizing effort is a good argument, BTW. Effort == complexity ==
> bugs. The simpler the better.

An argument which hasn't been noted here till now is the load on the 
servers. Checking out the latest sources via CVS puts quite some load on 
the servers because people who compile from CVS most often check out the 
whole module, not just some parts of it.

Admitted, throwing everything into just one module would put even more load 
on the server. And would be a real hassle with CVS because branches and 
stuff are a horror on big modules. But if it was possible to check out 
single apps, the load {w,co}ould be reduced. The branching problem is 
solved by SVN :) And the handling of "modules" etc is different with SVN 
anyway. (As noted by somebody else before, currently some other 
projects/hosts are moving from CVS to SVN -- I know of BerliOS.de, 
tigris.org and Apache.)

Just a handful cents from somebody who doesn't have much to say as he 
doesn't contribute much :)


[SGT] Simon G. Tatham: "How to Report Bugs Effectively"
[ESR] Eric S. Raymond: "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way"

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