[Slackbuilds-users] OPTIONAL field [was: qemu/spice-gtk and usbredir]

Erik Hanson erik at slackbuilds.org
Sun Nov 6 03:39:30 UTC 2016

On Sun, 6 Nov 2016 03:49:51 +0100
Andrzej Telszewski <atelszewski at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 06/11/16 03:33, Erik Hanson wrote:
> >> You kinda have point with the context of the deps, but we're not
> >> here  
> >> > to babysit people. One shall README, period.  
> > And there is the crux of the entire matter. Currently, we expect
> > people to read the README. A machine-readable field of optional
> > deps means people have even less reason to read the README. Nothing
> > good comes of this. A few power users might be okay, but the other
> > 99.9% of people: fucked. Our goal has always been a repo of scripts
> > that reliably create valid packages. OPTIONAL provides too many
> > ways for that to go wrong.
> >
> > Read the README and you're golden.  
> Well, I don't know. This feels kinda bad. Like babysitting.
> It's Linux in the end, you are expected to know more less what you're
> doing. There are many more ways to screw up your system.

We should just delete the HOWTO and FAQ pages, I guess. Wouldn't want
to babysit. 

I'm not sure how you get from "please read the README files, they
contain vital information" to "we need to hold your hand". The only
argument that I'm making is that demonstrably important information
can be contained in the README file, and that we shouldn't give anyone
a reason to bypass that information. It's not babysitting, it's not
hand-holding, it's literally saying there is information here, it's
important, and we CANNOT convey it to you in an OPTIONAL="" field.
Sorry, but you have to do some reading. Please, I beg of you, tell me
how reading up on things and gaining some understanding of how they
work is not the Slackware way.

> On the other hand, the last thing I would like to see is mailing list 
> polluted with problems caused by OPTIONAL.
> Is this a real threat?

Yes. It is. As I said, a lot of "doesn't build" reports come in with
sbopkg text at the bottom. It's just a fact. It might not be relevant
that they are using sbopkg, but is indicative of what people are doing.
They're using an automated tool and can't even discern the difference
between the compiler output and the sbopkg output. Sometimes, we
ONLY get the sbopkg output! That only gets worse when 3rd party tools
present a list of optional deps to users, without any rhyme or reason,
and they just pick "Yes" and things break. 

We're a smart lot, and can probably deal with it, I don't doubt that.
But should we allow it? That problem doesn't exist if we continue to
tell people: Hey, read the README. That's literally why it's there.


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