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Re: possible mass-filing of bugs: many shared library packages contain binaries in usr/bin

Richard Braakman <dark@xs4all.nl> writes:

> On Mon, May 06, 2002 at 09:07:27PM +0100, Roger Leigh wrote:
> > libexec, IMHO, serves to tidy up the filesystem by only using lib for
> > libraries, and putting extra binaries into libexec/<package>.  It
> > cleans up lib, which is (again IMHO) needed.  Having a place to put
> > the scripts will also be an incentive to move the remaining shareable
> > data under share.
> Hmm, but it does not achieve that.  lib will still contain all kinds of
> architecture-dependent data, such as the dictionaries in /usr/lib/ispell
> and the stuff in /usr/lib/megahal.  Separating the executables will only
> address one category of many.

It's a start though.  I don't think that Debian developers can fix all
the nastiness that upstreams put in their packages, but by providing
the directories will allow them to fix their packages, it could be
cleaned up.

> Is it really so bad that lib is a collection of stuff?  All of it has
> the same properties wrt sharability and user interface requirements
> (i.e. none), and keeping everything in one hierarchy is simpler than
> splitting it (and thus having to worry about where borderline cases
> go).

I think it is fine as it is.  However, tidiness and organisation are
things I like to see (even if I'm not so tidy in the real world!) and
it pains me to see stuff dumped in lib because there was nowhere else
for it.  In the case of arch-dependent data, that may be the only
place (but that's probably a design flaw in the package to need it,
/var/lib should otherwise be used if it's generated).  As pointed out
in the other reply, libdata is a possibility, though it would probably
have very little real use.

There are also files under /lib that should really go under share.

> > In short, I agree that libexec is `not essential', like you said
> > previously, but then again separating bin and sbin is not essential
> > either.  It does clean up the cruft that is dumped in /usr/lib
> > though, and I would like to see it used for just this reason.
> The difference between bin and sbin is visible to the user, however.
> It is functional.  I see no function for libexec.

It's a separation of non user-visible executables and scripts from
libraries, which are not usually related to each other.  As I said
before, it's function is to tidy up the filesystem, though I'm sure
many do not feel this is necessary since what we have works.  I would
just like it categorised a bit better.

Would anyone mind if I brought this up on the FHS list in the future?
Is any past discussion on this archived anywhere?


Roger Leigh
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