Chad Perrin wrote:
On Mon, Nov 12, 2007 at 08:23:23PM -0500, Chuck Robey wrote:
This makes a little file of descriptor words, but it's not set so a regular editor can manipulate it; the special ports program is needed to set or reset this list. All ports query this list in making the decision as to whether or whether not to include a particular port as a dependency.

Ugh.  As far as I'm concerned, everything that pertains to system
configuration should always be human-readable and editable without
special tools.  Trying to insulate things from human ability to directly
manipulate them tends to lead to rapidly increasing difficulty of
debugging configurations.

I might have agreed with this, except, I have lived for a good while with the Gentoo "USE" lists, and I can tell you that having insufficent control over what goes ontp those lists causes havoc both with the users trying to select the proper wording of the lists, and the programmers trying to decide how to have a particular USE keyword represent a particular ports usage. You have to make certain that both users and programmers have a definite, firm meaning in mind when they use the keywords, because (in another's well chosen words) if you don't, USE lists are a PITA. It takes firmer control of meaning to make certain that the list doesn't devolve into that.

This is actual experience talking, in this case.

I left out one last point> there will be a reject list: a list of port names or regular expression patters, of ports that can't be installed under any circumstances.

I *love* this idea!

/me starts cobbling together a list of things that start with 'k' or 'g',
preparing for that future date when this is possible.

Yes, that was my own feeling.

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