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Re: [kde] setting an /opt precedent

On Thursday 17 January 2002 08:47 pm, you wrote:
> So, what are the "reasons behind Debian not mucking about with
> /opt" except the preconceptions of some developers? I think you
> would have to say something like:
> * It is not very consistent with the directory layout many packages
> adapt
> Is there any other reason? I assume none, since front end files can
> be placed by the distribution in usual locations by symlinking or
> by wrapper scripts.

The reasons are not "preconceptions," but opinions based on 
experience with older UN*X systems that had such a layout. My 
personal reason is the PATH variable. When I was a sys admin at 
university, we had to maintain the default PATH for all users in a 
lab. Doing this for all the different packages that went into 
/usr/local/foo/bin, /opt/bar/bin, and /usr/pkg/baz/bin was a pain in 
the butt. I also think that your proposed solution of using symlinks 
and wrapper scripts are inelegant hacks.

> Actually the FHS permits use of /opt by distributions you mean.
> Please add it to the policy if you have a logical rationale but
> then we will have to drop "FHS compliance" from the list of
> Debian's features. ;)

Just because Debian chooses to disallow something that is permitted 
(but not required) by the FHS does not make Debian uncompliant with 
the FHS.

> Aside from discussion of /opt policy in FHS:
> Note that the mere suggestion of putting KDE files in /opt/kde3 was
> because the above reason is not valid for KDE since it is quite
> different from the majority of software packages which are smaller
> pieces of software designed according to GNU Coding Standards. As a
> matter of fact, KDE also obeys GNU Coding Standards to some extent
> but it is a very large system and therefore many kde developers
> feel that it deserves its own directory; somewhat like X11. That's
> all.

Your statement is that KDE is different from other software because 
of its size, and it should be treated differently because of that. I 
don't think that matters. X11 is a special case because it's been 
there so long. The FHS is explicit about that:

"No large software packages should use a direct subdirectory under 
the /usr hierarchy. An exception is made for the X Window System 
because of considerable precedent and widely-accepted practice."

Unfortunately, the FHS doesn't explain it's reasons for this 
prohibition, but I agree with it, so I don't need convincing.

That's all,


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