[pacman-dev] pacman tag support

Dan McGee dpmcgee at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 01:53:53 EDT 2008

On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 5:42 PM, Xavier <shiningxc at gmail.com> wrote:
> About the feature itself, here is the last thread where it was discussed :
> http://archlinux.org/pipermail/pacman-dev/2007-June/008555.html
> I was always divided about it. I understand the point of view "groups
> are installable, categories are not"
> However, after having a look at this patch, it seems like it justifies
> Nagy's opinion even more :
> http://archlinux.org/pipermail/pacman-dev/2007-June/008565.html
> This category implementation basically looks like a duplication of the
> whole group implementation.

It does seem to come down to just that one difference- categories/tags
are not installable while groups are.

With that in mind, what drawback is there to using our existing group
functionality for categories? I can think of the following issues
(none of which are critical or unfixable):
1. Category names could potentially conflict with package names.
Doesn't seem like it would happen in reality though.
2. Search output would get cluttered. I'm referring to the group
display to the right of the package name. ("core/pacman 3.2.0-1
3. Slight performance hit with nearly every package in a group. Surely
we could improve our code/algorithms to accommodate if it was a big
issue, and the categories/tags being separate would incur the same if
not a bigger penalty.
4. OMG you could try to install a category! But don't we trust the
user anyway? No need to handhold here and wave our finger saying "you
can't do that".

Anyone else have thoughts here? From the Arch perspective of things,
we already added the base and base-devel categories as groups long
ago, and there is no real reason other categories of packages couldn't
do the same thing. And we allow as many groups as you want on a


More information about the pacman-dev mailing list