[pacman-dev] Alternatives system brainstorm

Daan van Rossum d.r.vanrossum at gmx.de
Mon Oct 28 10:30:41 UTC 2019

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

> Compare that to the complexity of the original proposal example for python2:

In this design, will /usr/bin/python be owned by a package like in the selector-provider design?

> In the PKGBUILD:
> alternatives=('python')

provides=('python-provider')  #-- unnecessary if backend infers this

> And then provide a file python.alternative containing:
> /usr/bin/python -> python2
> /usr/bin/idle -> idle2

provide() {
	mkdir -p usr/bin
	ln -s /usr/bin/python2 usr/bin/python
	ln -s /usr/bin/idle2 usr/bin/idle

> Yes - this potentially results in more complexity in the backend (I'm
> not sure it will), but is dead simple for a packager.

Complexity for developers vs complexity for users is a delicate tradeoff.

The python.alternative design involves slightly less text to write for a maintainer, OK, but splits it over two files instead of one.

A function is more powerful than a list of key-value pairs.  Can you handle alternative lua include files with a list of key-value pairs?  I imagine there may be exceptional situations where the extra power will be nice to have in the future.

Best, Daan
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