[asdf-devel] Reader conditionals in :depends-on considered harmful?

Dave Cooper david.cooper at genworks.com
Sun Dec 8 03:41:21 UTC 2013


Is stuff like the following advised/recommended?

 (asdf:defsystem  #:robot
  :description  "The Gendl™ Simplified Android Robot example "
 :depends-on (#-gendl :gendl)
... )

The scenario is that we ship a pre-built Gendl image which has no asdf or
Quicklisp in it (but does, of course, have :gendl included in *features).

Downstream user is then free to load Quicklisp and start pulling in
libraries. But if they pull a library (or application, like :robot), which
normally should depend-on :gendl, then we don't want it trying to reload
the whole gendl system, since it's already built in.

I know this was discussed here briefly around the launch of 3.0.3 but I'm
still not completely clear on how it should work. If we don't include ASDF
and Quicklisp at all in our pre-built image, then I don't see any way for
us to tamper with e.g. asdf's registry search functions. I guess the only
way to do that would be to provide a custom function for installing
Quicklisp and ASDF -- but we have no guarantee that the user will actually
follow our function and not simply try to install Quicklisp according to
the instructions at quicklisp.org.

My Best,

Dave Cooper, Genworks Support
david.cooper at genworks.com, dave.genworks.com(skype)
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