From: sabrina downard Date: 19:36 on 27 Aug 2003 Subject: Never-ending dependencies. I mostly do systems herding, not so much programming. Which does not mean that I'm exempt from writing your occasional perl or shell script, of course, since herding systems without having your brain explode frequently means fixing brokenness that happens over ... and over ... and over ... . But that's not what I'm here to hate today. During the years of writing my craptastic perl code, I've learned the joy of reusing code snippets, and of writing my own modules. I mean, it's pretty neat -- check that shit out. Of course, I'm not a real programmer. If I was a real programmer, I'd reuse other people's code too. Lots of it. From as many different packages as I could get my grubby little paws on. I'd require This, version 1.0pl2rc7; and That, from CVS please: the latest release is two years old because the team can't agree on whether to use Widget version 4.2.7b or 4.2.6. The Widget 4 tree would be deprecated due to security concerns, though, and they would recommend that you use 5.1.1, wherein they changed everything. This would require GNU m4 and groff because my vendor's wouldn't be good enough, and That would require a different version of the DB library than I would have installed for a different package. And then I'd start breaking out my project's code into multiple pieces, because I might want to reuse some of it in other projects. What other projects? Well, they're not really done yet. They're on my whiteboard. But, you know, it might happen. Someday. But that's *also* not what I'm here to hate. Mostly. Well, okay. Yeah. That *is* what I'm here to hate. But there's more! You see, if I was a real programmer, I wouldn't actually document all these dependencies -- I'd just let the unwashed masses find it out the hard way. You know, by reading the instructions -- which say "All you need to do is run './configure && make && make install'!" -- and chasing down each dependency as ./configure bails. Or maybe as ld bails. Or just for giggles, as 'make install' bails. So that altogether, what could have been twenty minutes spent tracking down source tarballs and then a couple of hours of nice ordered compilation ends up turning into a day-long hair-pulling extravaganza. Or six day-long extravaganzas -- but who's counting? Not that, you know, I'm bitter, or anything. Oh, no.
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