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

Xavier shiningxc at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 18:08:12 EDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 10:45 PM, Tobias Kieslich <tobias at justdreams.de> wrote:
> 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, because Arch is binary based
>   and rebuilding is not really necessary

I don't rebuild that much. But the fact that rebuilding is so nice and
so simple in Arch is one of my main reasons for preferring it over
other distrib.

>  - cvs/svn is behind the patches in vim world

The lag between two vim packages bump is likely to be much bigger, so
I am not sure that is really relevant.
But vim development model must be the weirdest one I have seen so far :)

>  - 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

Not that it matters at all, but I find it funny that I do the
opposite. I don't use a central src cache but I always keep my build

Anyway, I don't think we were not talking about a -cvs package like
the ones on AUR.
What aaron suggested is a libfetch like way, that is you just generate
a snapshot, and upload it to ftp.archlinux.org.

Surely there are other official packages using cvs/whatever snapshots.

> I'm strongly opposed to 2) because it just causes
> more work and we do have a perfectly usable build system in place.

What bugged me is the very unusual way the vim pkgbuild used to get source code.
And that it used two long and complex patches to do that :
$ wc -l fetch_*
  67 fetch_patches.sh
 117 fetch_runtime.sh
 184 total

So we have a big script to download and apply hundred of patches
inside the build() function.
And we have an even bigger script to download and replace runtime
files inside the package() function (if there was one), directly
overwriting the files in $pkgdir/

This is not really your fault however, this is all due to the crappy
(or if you prefer : very unusual) vim development model, as I have
found out in the last two weeks. But I also found out there is an
alternative to that, which I proposed.

Anyway, it's your package, you are the maintainer. If you see only
inconvenient and no advantages with my alternative, forget it.
For a user who wants to build/rebuild vim regularly, I think it would
be nicer to use a real -cvs or -git pkgbuild as the ones I submitted
to the AUR.

And I would also like to mention I had no problems with vim before
looking at the pkgbuild, the packages have always worked fine. And I
also appreciated the recent cleanup/reorganization (my only complaint
was the lack of information in the announcement).
So your work is appreciated.

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