[plt-scheme] package management issues

From: Richard C. Cobbe (cobbe at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Tue Mar 4 06:09:58 EST 2003

Lo, on Monday, March 3, Neil W. Van Dyke did write:

> Note that for the sake of portability, this bypasses the host platform's
> native package system, but it will only install files under the
> "collects" tree, so that should be OK.

Well, it'll be OK depending on where the collects tree is.  If the PLT
system installs packages into the same collects tree as does the
original (OS-native) DrScheme package, then there can be problems when
one upgrades the DrScheme package---especially if one has used the PLT
package system to upgrade a collection in the native DrScheme package.
This is why, for instance, I don't use XEmacs's package system on my
Debian machine.

One would need a separate collects tree for the PLT package system (for
Debian, under /usr/local/plt or possibly /usr/local/share/plt), and
DrScheme would need to search both, giving priority to the local
collection tree.  There were some problems with this in the Debian
DrScheme package a while back, although they may have been resolved.

In short: OS-level package systems and application-specific package
systems don't play well together unless you're very careful.

Fitting the PLT package system into the host's native package system 
(a la Ximian's Red Carpet) would be really neat, but I don't think I can
justify the level of effort that would require.


Posted on the users mailing list.