[plt-scheme] package management thoughts

From: Jacob Matthews (jacobm at cs.uchicago.edu)
Date: Thu Mar 13 10:34:23 EST 2003

On Thu, 13 Mar 2003, MJ Ray wrote:

> Another case: What if I haven't realised that one of the many files in a
> package requires something from the archive and it only goes out to get
> it when I run it as a user?  I probably wanted that installed system-wide,
> not individual copies for all users who run it.
> There are many other situations like that.  I beg you to disable the
> automatic downloading by default, probably by giving a nice error that
> tells them what they need to do.  Otherwise, it will make PLT a thorn
> in the sysadmin's side.  I don't think that's what we want.

Yeah, I've been convinced by many people that there ought to be an
explicit "Install" button. The way it will work will be: if you're
writing lib-a and need to use lib-b, you put

(require (planet "lib-b.ss" ...))

just like always planned. When a user installs lib-a, the installer
recognizes that lib-b needs to be installed and installs it if necessary.
However, if the user tries to run lib-a without first installing it and
doesn't have lib-b, they get an error (something like "you've got to
install me before you run me, bozo").

Robby and I have talked about the technical issues associated with this
strategy and it seems like it's the best way to go.


Posted on the users mailing list.