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Re: $INSTALL_LOG for install(1)

From: Frank Tobin
Subject: Re: $INSTALL_LOG for install(1)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 13:20:41 -0500 (EST)

Note: Again, please Cc in any replies me as I am not on the list.

Bob Proulx, on 2002-03-24, wrote:

> I believe a better solution is to use a tool specifically designed to
> do packaging.  Either rpm or dpkg are excellent tools for this
> purpose.

I do agree that specially-designed packaging tools such as these tend to
be the most optimal.  Of course, however, there are issues in trying to
build around these systems, and I don't think we'll ever really move away
from lots of people using "make install", however.

Also, I'm not quite sure of where this argument might go, but there might
be something to be said that there is significant functional difference
between "logging" and "package installing".  That thought just popped into
my head but I'm not sure it's valid...

> Probably it is safe to say that most GNU based tar files are created
> using automake.  The ones that don't are more of the exception than the
> rule.

Not to nitpick, but personally plan on releasing a small C-helper program
that I'll be using make to setup/install, but not using the full-blown
automake/configure setup.  I do admit I'll be in the far minority, though

> Therefore in order to really make use of an install enhancement you
> would have to get the automake team to buy into it.

I'm not sure of the benefits of necessarily tying install to automake as
you suggest it is... Also, of course, the fact that it often is tied to
automake currently doesn't mean it will be so in the future.

> However, there has been discussion on supporting automatically producing
> a package file for either rpm or deb.
> See also
> http://mail.gnu.org/pipermail/automake/2001-November/009851.html
> and http://www.gyve.org/~jet/autopack

The autopack scheme does seem nifty.  There are advantages to such a

I just thought of a killer problem with depending on automake, however.
Consider non-automake install(1)-using systems, such as Perl modules.  An
automake solution doesn't help there.

I just checked the archive of this list and lo to my behold I see a post
today "Logging of INSTALLed files..".  Now, I didn't post that (and I
don't know the poster, honestly!), but I happened to implement precisely
what the author was suggesting.

I think the advantage of my technique was simplicity without too much of a
change to install as it currently is.  Since install is fairly
independent, I think that having a unixy poor-man's solution built into it
increases its functionality significantly.

While I've never built a automake-derived rpm, maybe the INSTALL_LOG would
help you determine what actually gets installed.  I know that in FreeBSD's
ports system there have been problems making sure the pkg-plist for a port
accurately reflects what was installed.  Of course, one workaround
solution around this is to install to an empty directory root, but there
can be issues with that.

Take whatever you want in this message as being slightly jaded since I
wrote a patch and hence boosted my ego :)

Frank Tobin             http://www.neverending.org/~ftobin/

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