[Pkg-tcltk-devel] Mission Impossible

Sergei Golovan sgolovan at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 12:54:40 UTC 2010

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM, Francesco P. Lovergine
<frankie at debian.org> wrote:
> Folks
> as current bugs show, the whole alternatives mechanism and the possibility
> to allow admin to choose a Tcl/Tk version as they like is error prone.
> This is not new.

True, the current state is very confusing for users.

> It also gives the erroneous impression that Tcl/Tk versions could be safely
> changed at will. The result is bugs like 'I have X.Y installed, why I have also
> Z.W installed? Please allow me to remove it'. This is wrong. None reports the
> same for Python or Ruby or C/C++: for those languages you *have* to install a default, and
> other versions are optional and used only in specific cases.

Well, for most cases different Tcl/Tk version are interchangeable.
Though having one
default version is a good idea.

> My proposal is dropping the alternatives and use symlink instead, as also suggested
> by dato. Also, it is mandatory bugging programs that still depends on wish and
> generally enforce the policy. Maintainers have to adopt the policy or perish :-) i.e. serious bugs
> should be reported against programs that still not use default Tcl/Tk (build)-dependencies
> without a reason, else we will still have again the same problems
> at squeeze+1 release :-(

This doesn't affect libraries much, but definitely affects application
which use /usr/bin/tclsh as
an interpreter. They will have to depend on tcl, and not tclX.Y, where
there wouldn't be /usr/bin/tclsh.

> Gcc maintainers should also do their best to remove the expect 8.3 dependency problem
> which is unacceptable. The 8.3 version is old and unmaintained, there is no
> justification to still use it. If the testing suite has problems with 8.4+ they
> have to be solved (hppa? what's the issue? has anyone analyzed it?)

Unfortunately, there're still bug which prevent using threaded expect
on hppa. (http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.ports.parisc/2478) It
isn't fixed yet. So, I don't think we can drop Tcl/Tk 8.3 now. May be
can switch Tcl/Tk 8.4 to non-threaded build and add expect-tcl8.4?

Sergei Golovan

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