Re: Attn Packagers

The Mozilla project, for example, has its main builds ignoring some of the sub project, but also builds that include them (eg. Mozilla-mathml). Wouldn't it similarly make sense to package say a standard gnumeric(without bonobo) as well as a gnumeric-with-bonobo (requiring bonobo >=1.0.9) and let the user choose which package to install. Norman (and many others) would obviously choose the former, while others are likely to use the latter. (IMHO gnumeric with bonobo is much more stable then we may give it credit. We are using gnumeric in a production environment as the spreadsheet of use in our intro stats course and our students in this course are probably as unsophisticated a user as you are likely to encounter. We used to use StarCalc but our students managed to lock it up/crash it too frequently.)


Norman Reitzel wrote:


Jody's concerns about bug load - particularly from people who want
to install from RPM as opposed to build from source - is a valid
point, but I have a view from the opposite end.  I build from the
CVS tree, and from my point of view as a user of Gnumeric, I find
that bonobo itself is not ready for prime time.  As a developer, I
know that this circumstance would like to have maximum exposure to
shorten the debug time, but from a user standpoint, this is akin to
Microsoft' "Let the User be the Beta" attitude.  Right now, and for
the near future, Gnumeric is far more reliable if one can just
leave bonobo out of the build, period.  I know that for me - at
least for now - the first nut that requires bonobo will be the one
after the last one that I download and build.

I have been working with *nixes as a developer since 1979 (v6), and
I think that the KISS philosophy is the magic bullet.  Keep
features as independant as possible, and debug the pieces
thoroughly.  I'm philosophically - and vehemently - against the
mixmaster method, where there is one package that contains
everything.  Among other things, building features as separate
packages requires that the interface be well defined, thoroughly
documented, and static, which is an extremely desirable thing from
the standpoint of reliability.

-- Norm Reitzel
        Blue Water Ventures

On Wed, 10 Oct 2001 23:58:14 -0400, Jody Goldberg wrote:

On Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 09:49:06PM -0700, Gregory Leblanc wrote:

Is the bonobo support in the main gnumeric executable, or in separate
files?  If it's in separate files, it's easy to create a gnumeric and
gnumeric-bonobo RPMs, allowing end users to not install the bonobo
support if they don't want it. If it's not possible to separate them this way, then I'm all for putting
a BuildRequires:  bonobo >= 1.0.9 into the spec file, and getting people
to do some more thorough bonobo testing.

Bonobo is mostly isolated in the build, but it does change the
compilation.  However, I am against having a Requires for bonobo for
the same reason that I'd like to avoid Requiring guile-1.5 or python
or guppi.  There are already too many complaints about Gnumeric's
requirements.  The main people having problems are the people who
are no longer newbies, but have yet to reach grand master status.
They do not rely completely on packages, but still use the canned
rpm spec to build.  All sorts of problems arise trying to get the
various dependencies installed.  I would much prefer to keep the
list (and my bug load) down by requiring the absolute minimum number
of packages in the default spec.

Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Guelzow Assoc. Prof of Mathematics
Concordia University College of Alberta

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