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Re: GNUstep and FHS

On Tue, Jul 26, 2005 at 10:23:10PM +0200, Eric Heintzmann wrote:
> Actually, there are in Debian (sarge, etch, sid) more than 50 packages
> that are parts of the GNUstep Environment. But there is a big issue with
> all of them: none are FHS compliant.

> The development of GNUstep started a long time before the birth of the
> File Hierarchy Standard, and since they implemented the OpenStep API,
> the upstream developers chose to create their own
> NeXTSTEP/OpenStep/MacOSX-like filesystem layout
> (http://www.gnustep.org/resources/documentation/User/GNUstep/filesystem_toc.html).
> Now, they don't want to change their filesystem layout according to the
> Linux FHS, because GNUstep is multi-platforms, Linux and Unix is only a
> target
> (http://www.gnustep.org/resources/documentation/User/GNUstep/machines_toc.html).
> They prefer to keep the same filesystem layout on all platforms
> (including Windows and Darwin/MacOSX) .
> Notice that Window Maker uses the same filesystem in Debian, even it is
> not a GNUstep application.

> Under Debian:

>     The System Domain is set to /usr/lib/GNUstep/System/
>     Packages install all their stuff here, (including object files,
> libraries, and internal binaries, shell scripts, headers, all   commands).

>     The Local Domain is set to /usr/local/lib/GNUstep/Local/ (with a
> symlink in /usr/lib/GNUstep)
>     Packages install nothing here. Used by admin to build GNUstep
> applications locally.

>     The Network Domain is set to /usr/local/lib/GNUstep/Network/ (with a
> symlink in /usr/lib/GNUstep)
>     Packages install nothing here. Used for shared stuff.

>     The Users Domain is set to ~/GNUstep/
>     Packages install nothing here. Used for store users configuration files.

> The problem is simple:
> First, gnustep-make which is used to build all others GNUstep package,
> install all the stuff according to the GNUstep filesystem layout, and
> cannot be set to install stuff elsewhere.
> Second, all GNUstep libraries, frameworks and applications expect for
> find stuff at a predetermined place. Moving files will just break GNUstep.

> I co-maintain the GNUstep Core packages for more than 2 years, and I
> spend a lot of time to find a solution to these problems by moving files
> accordingly to FHS, and by symlinking some directories.
> After several tests, I have to admit that I am not able to make GNUstep
> FHS compliant without breaking it.
> And I don't think that is possible, except if upstream developers change
> their mind.

> I've found a place to install GNUstep which seems to be FHS compliant:
> /opt/GNUstep.
> But using /opt for official Debian package is not allowed. (IMHO, it
> should be written explicitly into the policy document).

I think the FHS itself is clear on this point, that /opt is only for use by
third-party software bundles.

> Since there is no other maintainer to try to make these packages FHS
> compliant, should GNUstep be removed from Debian ?

I'm afraid I don't think it would be appropriate for the release team to
indefinitely waive the FHS requirement for GNUstep merely on the grounds
that it's difficult to bring the packages into compliance.  Perhaps you
should consider bringing this up for discussion on debian-policy instead.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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