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Re: / -> /usr symlink

Hi Gordon,

On Thu, Jan 14, 1999 at 03:12:11PM -0600, Gordon Matzigkeit wrote:
> Hi, all!
> As Marcus pointed out, there will be problems with some Debian
> packages which depend on / and /usr being separate directories.
> I, personally, would like to keep the symlink, and fix the problems
> that come up.

You are welcome!


(Sorry, it was kind of a joke. Certainly you are welcome to try and fix the
> Making / and /usr separate directories will introduce problems, too,
> so I'd rather side with the GNU standards on this issue.

I see. And I kind of agree. But see below.
> This is interesting, though, because it is our first conflict between
> GNU and Debian policy.  I guess it's an issue that I (or somebody)
> should open on debian-policy.

No. I have to object strongly, not because I would not like to see this
discussed, but because I don't see a good outcome.

It sounds strange, but I will already get problems with the needed changes
for Hurd support without such conflicts. It may sound strange, but for some
developers, porters seem to be second class citiziens. I am a bit afraid
that Hurd people will be considered third class citizens, if we try too
strongly to move Linux in direction of the Hurd.

For example, I am already getting snipping comments about the fact that I
submitted a bug report with patches to add better cross compilation support.
(#31795), and this although the patches are completely backward compatible,
and cross compilation is very reliable on the Hurd (in fact, what we do can
hardly be called cross compilation).

I feel a bit sad about this situation, and I want to avoid unnecessary
conflicts. In particular, asking about the /usr symlink is unneccessary
because it is ___unavoidable___ on Linux. Linux can only mount one
filesystem on one mount point, and to distribute among multiple partitions,
usr can't be a symlink to root.

The only thing we can do for now is to submit patches for individual
packages, and hope that the maintainer of these packages are willing to add
them, until we get more people interested in the Hurd.

Later, we can think about essential additions to Debian policy. We should do
this when we have more experience and know which the important issues are,
and when we have more people working on and supporting it.

I hope I am exaggerating here, and most Debian developers will consider the
Hurd a good thing. However, remember we are strangers in a Linux world.

I feel really worried at the moment, sorry, I have had some strange email
exchange about the Hurd port which made me nervous. In addition, I am sick,
so don't expect too much happiness (and work) from me the next days.

Thank you for reading this rant,

PS: Maybe I am just disappointed by the fact that I have put a _lot_ of
effort in the base system around New Year, and now my patches are not as
appreciated as I would like them to be by some people.

"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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