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Re: setup.exe needs package name selection filter

Mark J. Reed wrote:
On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM, Eric Blake wrote:
[Please avoid - don't top-post]
[Please avoid feeding the spammers - ]

Sorry, I need to stop using GMail Mobile to post to this list. It leaves me no option about either of those.

I assume you mean beyond doing this manually. I feel your pain.

| Is there a ticketing/tracking system for Cygwin where one can submit
| feature requests?  I

The mailing list archives are as good as anything else.

Not really, because they're full of all sorts of messages that are neither defects or feature requests, and repeated requests don't get collapsed into a single thread.

I think we can all agree that there would be some value in such a system if it was well maintained and easy to use.

You're forgetting something fundamental - this is a volunteer process, so unless someone
volunteers to expend the resources to maintain a request tracking system,
it won't be any more effective than list traffic.

Yes, it's a volunteer process. I get that. Pretty much every open source project is a volunteer project. And it's true that if there were a tracking system, someone(s) would need to monitor it to mark duplicates and prioritize and such. But that might be less work than replying to these periodic messages about why there's no tracking system :) Someone must be directing the overall course of the development effort already, right? Is there a roadmap? Or just a bunch of people submitting patches as the mood strikes?

You're making the assumption that the main Cygwin development team is a large organization. It's not. Primarily, two developers work on the Cygwin DLL and do so fairly regularly. 1 developer works on 'setup.exe'. All others contribute patches to one side or the other as the time and inspiration permit, some more regularly than others. There are also people that are responsible for various packages and update them as needed, though a large number of packages are provided by these same core developers and those helping with bugs/patches. But when you boil it all down, the team working on Cygwin internals is not large by any stretch of the imagination and have lots of distractions already. Currently, coordination of efforts and laying out of roadmaps at any scale is not a formal process. It doesn't need to be with this team size, even if you take into account the helpful and trusty patchers. And while there has been talk in the past about setting up and maintaining some bugzilla or something, it has never really gotten off the ground due to lack of resource. Given this as background, I think you can understand that the current development team is not anxious to take on other tasks that would divert their current efforts. So, as it has been discussed in the past, any kind of formal tracking system for issues or requests needs someone to spearhead it to make it work and to limit the impact on the current developers.

Read the archives.  This has been repeatedly suggested, but no one has yet
proposed how to solve the chicken-and-egg problem of how you get apt or
yum first installed (how do you install cygwin1.dll with a program that
depends on the existence of cygwin1.dll?).

Why does the initial installation wizard have to be the same as the post-installation package manager? Certainly the extra first-install bits of setup.exe (e.g. "pick a mirror") are some of the more annoying things about using it later on. If you take out most of the flexibility from the initial setup, it doesn't need to have the same capabilities as a full package manager; it can just give you the default set of packages, or maybe let you pick from two or three canned sets targeted at developers and/or heavy X users. You could probably even use InstallShield or similar.

Again, this has been discussed in the past. While it would certainly be possible to do this, it effectively means we need 2 install programs. One would handle the install and update of the Cygwin DLL and the other would handle the packages. This would put an extra burden on the user even if all the technical issues could be addressed. I'm summarizing the history here. If you're interested in more details about these old discussions, the email archives are the place to look, though you'll have to go back 10 years or so to get to the original discussions that brought 'setup.exe' into existence. That doesn't mean that the subject is closed. There have been more recent discussions about how to bring a package manager into this process. But it needs to address the chicken- and-egg problem well and have some resource to put behind it. And now with this statement, I fear, we've jumped back to near the start of this thread again. :-(

Any good ideas and discussions on solutions for this issue are still
welcome, as doing so may spark others interest too.  But please don't
cover the same old ground.  Have some pity for those who have been through
these discussions before.  Or if not for us, think of the children! ;-)

-- Larry Hall RFK Partners, Inc. (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office 216 Dalton Rd. (508) 893-9889 - FAX Holliston, MA 01746


A: Yes.
> Q: Are you sure?
>> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
>>> Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

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