[rust-dev] RFC: Future of the Build System

Lee Braiden leebraid at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 14:41:20 PST 2014

On 14/01/14 22:31, Jan Niklas Hasse wrote:
> I don't understand what debian's package manager has to do with a 
> build system?
> There's no reason why
> apt-get install librust-sdl2-dev
> shouldn't work, no matter what rust-sdl2 uses for building itself. The 
> package will just contain a rlib file and put it inside 
> /usr/lib/rustlib/<target-triple>/.

There is a LOT of cross-over between package managers and build 
systems.  In fact, I'd argue that the distinction is very blurry, if not 
misguided.  Debian, for instance, provides:

     apt-get -b source packagename

Which downloads and builds a package from source.

Many package managers, like the BSD ports, MAINLY download and build 
from source.  They're nothing but standardised wrappers for the many 
build systems out there, along with (in some package managers, like 
Debian's) standards for where the installed files should end up.

Other packages managers will ONLY build from source.

I think what you're mainly getting at, though, is why you need to care 
about debian choosing to say:

     apt-get install librust-sdl2-dev

When the Rust community says:

     rustpkg -i rust-sdl

The problem is that, the whole concept of a package manager is to 
standardise and maintain compatiblity between installed packages. So 
when debian says:

     apt-get install librust-sdl2-dev

AND you say:

     rustpkg -i rust-sdl--berts-version

That's a conflict.  Because two open source communities failed to work 
together.  BUT, debian, and others like BSD ports etc., very much do 
their part, in providing ways to install librust-sdl2-dev etc.  The part 
that's missing is the metadata for rust-sdl--berts-version, which says, 
"This package provides librust-sdl, so if you install this, don't 
install some other librust-sdl as well."

Basically, I'm saying that, if we make a little effort to create open, 
accessible package data, then everyone will find it easier to work with 
us.  That shouldn't be a foreign concept.


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