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1 February 2005, 6-7+ pm Fedora-- Ruminations about "Core" versus "Extras" -- how packaging happens,
who decides what goes in, how it is decided, both in Core & Extras. [0.5

The software process as it relates to Core, to Extras.

Questions about that process as it relates to why packages are included where.

  • Interest-- Of developer(s)? Of users? Of populace?
  • Marketability-- ? [0.5

Questions about how it is decided what to include in packages?

  • Binaries--
  • Tools--
  • Documentation-- (How much docs?) (What format? HTML/plaintext/docbook/LaTeX/dvi/ps/pdf?)
  • Examples-- of use of package, or scripts, or ...

Developer decisions? Marketing decisions? Both? Politics?

Questions about why packages are created in the first place? In response to demand? Because the technology's cool? To create demand? To satisfy some geek's programming itch? Thrill of creativeness?

Example for thought -- Core offers tcl/tk [1 - scripting languages that can be and are used, it seems, for interactive & graphical applications (using X windows or not using X), with lots of widgets. Great for modelling applications & coming up with UI's & stuff. (If I've mischaracterized tcl/tk, pls. excuse - just learning about it now.)

Core used to offer extensions for tcl/tk in RH7.3, RH9, FC1, called [incr Tcl] [2 (packaged as itcl) coming out of the tcl/tk source package. [incr tcl] is a set of object- oriented extensions to the tcl language that, as far as I can tell, don't much change the semantics of the original tcl language unless you invoke the oo semantics explicitly. [incr tcl] was packaged as "itcl-_____.rpm".

RedHat (who in Red Hat?) decided to stop offering itcl (for some reason - but I don't know why), starting with FC2. [3 (Core @ same time decided to split up tcl&tk's source package into one for tcl and one for tk, instead of having one monolithic package for both tcl & tk binary packages as well as [incr tcl] and [incr tk] . Assuming this was for maintainability. [4 )

A bugzilla entry [4.5 mentioned the lack of itcl now, even though itcl seems to continue to be supported upstream, though not perhaps as popular as it may have been at one time. (So itcl may be "mature" software -- as the saying goes, mature meaning that it's very stable, not subject to much churn or changes or, e.g., not growing and spawning new features).

My reason for interest - wanting to run the "Password Gorilla," [5 (a "Password Safe" [6 clone) which requires tck/tk and itcl. I was going to build itcl from sources, using the "./configure; make; make install" commands that build the programming etc. and install it all in the /usr/local tree. Then thought, "Gee, wouldn't it be cool to do that build in RPM and make a binary package I can install and remove?"

So I've created a very rudimentary itcl .src.rpm package [6.3 for [incr ]tcl . Created the .i386.rpm binary and installed it on my PC, and it works, satisfying Password Gorilla's needs.

And now I'm wondering -- "Gee, now that I've created this rudimentary itcl package that works for me, I wonder if Fedora Extras might want it?" [7 And further, "Gee, maybe I could also create Password Gorilla packages as well for Extras?"


[2], License: BSD
[5] , License: GPL
sha1sum = b470ee12cfa060beb3c54b00b4861a6b03b4aa6b