Making PCRE required ? Was: Optional PCRE breaking build?

Allen Winter winter at
Mon Jan 21 14:20:10 GMT 2008

On Sunday 20 January 2008 15:04:29 Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> Hi,
> On Sunday 20 January 2008, Mauricio Piacentini wrote:
> > Got the following message after updating kdelibs today:
> >
> > ---
> >
> > -- Could not find OPTIONAL package PCRE
> > CMake Error: The PCRE regular expression library has not been found. KJS
> > requires PCRE >= 4.5 to function properly. If you for some reason can
> > not install it, you can force a build with POSIX regex.h by passing
> > -DKJS_FORCE_DISABLE_PCRE=true to cmake. However, be advised that it'll
> > result in many websites breaking
> >
> > ---
> >
> > After installing the C and C++ dev packages for libpcre the build was
> > able to continue.
> I had a look at kdelibs/kjs/CMakeLists.txt, and actually the message tells
> you everything.
> You can build kjs without PCRE, but then you'll get a kjs, which will not
> work for many websites.
> If somebody does that, it will result in bug reports (which may be even
> hard to recognize, since the user must find out whether his kjs has been
> built with or without PCRE).
> I suggest to make PCRE a hard requirement and not supporting the non-PCRE
> build anymore.
> Objections ?

I'm not sure.

We have borderline "optional" features in lots of places.
I'm not sure I consider sasl or ldap or xcb or a working xine "optional" these 
days. We could have a long discussion about many of the optional features.

For the distros, we must expect them to do the right thing.

For the developers, we must expect them to read the log messages; so we should
have good macro_log_feature() messages (we need to review them); and we should 
have good compilation requirements docs (something I started but haven't 

For the people who do a quick compile and play... we can point them to good 
docs once we have them.

In summary, I'm not sold that we should change the PCRE requirement at this 
time.  Leave it up to the developers, I think.


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