Chad Perrin wrote:
On Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 03:34:26PM -0500, Chuck Robey wrote:
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 don't see how that translates into "the user should not be allowed to
view what's going on behind the scenes in a text editor if (s)he wants

I think you're becoming confused about who said what, because that particular line (the last paragraph above) isn't anything that I wrote.

Tell you what, let's just let this branch of the argument die, until I raise it again after I have the software ready to look at, on the ports list. We should not be bothering the "-questions" llist with this.

At that point, I will prepare, in advance, use cases, all the documentation, and the actual code, and everyone will get their chance to rant and rave, alrighty? You can stop me cold, if enough folks don't like the idea, that's how the development of FreeBSD goes, and I wouldn't change a thing with that.
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