[arch-dev-public] About the vim packages (Opinions needed)

Tobias Kieslich tobias at justdreams.de
Sun Oct 11 16:45:23 EDT 2009

Hi @all,

as most of you know, the (g)vi* packages are a constant subject to
suggestions and proposed changes be they stupid or valid. I just like to
have some input on two major issues and if we shall pursue them or not:

Only vim and gvim are concerne since vi is an entirely different beast

Here is how the packages are split up:
 - perl scripting support, since it's small and produces minor overhead
 - provides runtime files
 - is mainly intended for command line use where vi is not sufficient

 - python (and later again ruby) scripting support for addon scripts
 - provides X support, vim server support, gtk frontend if invoked with
   gvim symlink
 - intended for serious development, I think it's a reasonable
   assumption that people who do that do not wanna have 80x24 consoles
   but will have X installed and with X there is a huge likely hood that
   gtk2 is installed

Now, I think that gives a nice and very clear distinction between vim
(mainly for console user) and gvim (for developers, but also people who
run the vim command in the terminal). Note that after installing the gvim
package, the vim command invokes a more powerful, python and X enabled

I am getting feature requests, to put it nicely, about enabling python
in vim. I'm opposed to that for two reasons:
 - upon the return of ruby people will pester me about ruby support
   becuase python is in there and why not ruby .. whine .. blah
 - I think there is a clear distinction between vim for the console and
   vim for serious development, and the current layout shows that nicely

The arguments about including python are mainly like that: But when I am
on this server, or on this very small box, too small to run X and I
wanna develop in python etc. I don't think these are valid arguments
because they are rare cases. And if it's really true, you can always
build a custom python enable smaller vim.

Which brings me directly to the second point, the building system. Vim
follows a patch based approach which makes the PKGBUILD a fair bit
complex. All thes seemed to be fine for the last year but now people
seriously pester me that it would be better to build it from cvs/svn and
the patch based approach is not good enough anymore because the rebuilds
take too long becuase the download takes soooo long. The cvs approach
however has a few gotchas IMHO:
 - first of all I think that's a non issue, becuase Arch is binary based
   and rebuilding is not really necessary
 - cvs/svn is behind the patches in vim world
 - if you rebuild, you rebuild more often, which is supported by the
   central srccache
 - I clean up my PKGBUILD directories before rebuilding, I never clean
   my SRCCACHE so overall I don't benefit from the cvs at all

So what I wanna know is,
1. Do we wann have python enabled in vim package (don't forget: as soon
   as you install the gvim package, you have python in vim and don't use
   the vim-package binary anymore)
2. Do we wanna have a cvs enabled buildsystem just because upon an
   initial rebuild the download is faster (It would annoy the hell out
   of me because as package maintainer I would have to dowload
   everything everytime)

So, I like (g)vim the way it is but I don't wanna be the benevolent
I would be okay with 1) if everyone agrees, I know quite few
developer use vim. I'm strongly opposed to 2) because it just causes
more work and we do have a perfectly usable build system in place.


More information about the arch-dev-public mailing list