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Re: Package organization issue...

[ Please don't Cc: public replies to me. ]

(I'm feeling that I'm overly negative again. Sorry. I'll shut up if
someone shows a good example of why a new mechanism for setting up
default environments is needed.)

Raul Miller:
> Then, any sufficiently privileged program that wants to create a
> login shell for a user just needs to call exec().

Xterm doesn't call login to create a login shell; it calls the
shell and sets argv[0][0] to '-'. This cryptic convention is
the normal way to do it on Unix. If we change it, we'd have to
change all programs that do it.

> Even netpbm and mh?  For that matter, X11?

Netpbm requires no special setup (all the commands are now in
/usr/bin, not in /usr/bin/pbmplus). MH requires that you
add /usr/bin/mh to the path, but that should _not_ happen to
all users. The only reason to keep MH in its own subdirectory
is to allow people to avoid it completely. Only people who
use MH should pub /usr/bin/mh in their path.

X11 setup is already being done by startx and xdm, no change
is required.

> I agree, in general, that programs should work without special
> setup, but certain updates (to path, manpath, and maybe
> library oriented env variables) should pervade the system.

A reasonable path is already set in /etc/profile, anyway. Normal
packages will install their commands to /usr/bin. Special packages
will install commands elsewhere; like MH, those commands shouldn't
be on the default path.

manpath is set from /etc/manpath.config, and is read from there
by the man program; no environment variables needed, in the
normal case. Libraries don't require any special variables to
work, in the normal case. Package installation shouldn't cause
special cases, I think.

Please read <http://www.iki.fi/liw/mail-to-lasu.html> before mailing me.
Please don't Cc: me when replying to my message on a mailing list.

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