[pacman-dev] pacman-disowned

Jeremy Heiner scalaprotractor at gmail.com
Sat Oct 5 09:13:33 EDT 2013

On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 6:16 AM, Ashley Whetter <ashley at awhetter.co.uk> wrote:
> I agree with Dave here. I don't think this functionality is really "core" to
> pacman and what it does. I do, however, think it would be a really useful
> function and that therefore it should go into contrib. One of the reasons
> pacman is so great is because it does a good job of keeping the filesystem
> clean. But it's still a package manager, rather than a filesystem manager.
> I'm also going to argue that whatever we do here, we should do the same with
> pacdiff. The reasons for this new functionality being in pacman, contrib,
> whatever are likely going to be the same as pacdiff because it's also
> dealing with files that aren't part of a package. In fact pacdiff might even
> have more reason to go into pacman than this new functionality because it's
> only dealing with files created by pacman itself.
> Ashley

Hi, Ashley,
Thanks for the feedback.

This point isn't just to you, but to everyone drawing that solid line
separating package manager from filesystem manager. I totally get that
certain functions fall clearly to one side of that line or the other.
And the benefits to a software project of being able to define what is
inside and what is outside its scope are obvious. But because packages
are fairly useless until they get unpacked into a filesystem I can't
see that line as being as solid as people are suggesting. I see
interdependencies and functions that straddle that line and gray areas
that don't fit neatly into the rigidly drawn boundaries.

Of course, the lines do need to be drawn. And I know I don't get to do
that in this case. What I can do is suggest again that boundaries
which align to the tasks the user needs to accomplish are in many ways
preferable to those that align to the computer's tasks.

And regarding pacdiff, I think there are some very significant
differences. You pointed out the biggest one: that pacman itself
creates and logs the creation of the pacnew files. That is a huge
advantage to pacdiff and makes its task very unlike the task of
finding files that got onto the system by who knows what crazy
unpredictable reason or accident.


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