[asdf-devel] Proposal for improved support for versions of systems

Vsevolod Dyomkin vseloved at gmail.com
Tue Jun 29 20:34:49 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 11:31 PM, Robert Goldman <rpgoldman at sift.info>wrote:

> On 6/29/10 Jun 29 -3:13 PM, Vsevolod Dyomkin wrote:
> > Robert,
> >
> > That's why I've started developing this topic of improving version
> > support in ASDF (and not elsewhere), because if versions need to stay
> > there, they preferably should be only there to adhere to the DRY
> > principle, and if they are only there, they need to be supported well :)
> >
> > Yet, I agree with Faré, that it's much easier to perform dependency
> > management separately, and, if we go further along this line, completely
> > take it out of ASDF and leave ASDF just as a build tool.  Although that
> > is highly unlikely to happen :)
> >
> Here I think I disagree with Fare.  I think a build tool needs to "know"
> when dependencies are broken, and having it try to blindly load systems
> that are named the same, but that are of the wrong version, seems deeply
> undesirable to me.
> To be honest, I don't think it's particularly helpful to think of ASDF
> as a "build tool."  I think that, given CL's nature as a dynamic
> language, it's more productive to think of ASDF as a tool for loading
> software *and maintaining consistency of the lisp image*.

That's what I had also had in mind, when figuring out how to solve
dependency conflicts.

> ASDF must
> react to changing states of systems within a long-term running lisp
> session, which is very different from the much simpler task that must be
> performed by make.
> Even taking that into account, I think that it's possible that having
> make be only a simple build tool may not be ideal.  I'm sure we've all
> had one of those experiences where we thrashed about and lost a bunch of
> time because of version skew when building a system through make.  For
> that matter, configure is essentially an expert system that tries to
> guess, based on various probes, whether version dependencies are
> satisfied...
> best,
> r

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