[pacman-dev] Alternatives system brainstorm

Daan van Rossum d.r.vanrossum at gmx.de
Sun Oct 20 09:52:25 UTC 2019

* on Sunday, 2019-10-20 14:24 +1000, Allan McRae <allan at archlinux.org> wrote:

> That is on the cards.   I had the example of the lua include directory
> in the first email, but did not explicitly specify that we could symlink
> directories as well as files.

Alternatives management via "dynamic modification of a user's environment" has been popular in HPC for decades, e.g. see [1].  In particular, being able to use different alternatives in separate environments is very useful.  (This does not preclude setting user-wide or all-user-wide defaults.)

It may be helpful to consider separately feature-rich, flexible, dynamic alternatives management for a user's convenience on one hand, versus functionality that is essential for the system to work properly on the other.

Package dependencies probably fall under the latter category, as well as sh->bash/dash awk->gawk/nawk cc/clang, whereas lua->lua51/lua52/lua53 or java->java-8-openjdk/... fall under the second, I guess...

Best, Daan

P.S. I hope this is contribution is constructive, but please let me know if it isn't!

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environment_Modules_(software)
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