package pollution by asdf

Robert Goldman rpgoldman at
Tue Jan 16 17:17:10 UTC 2018

On 16 Jan 2018, at 10:46, Sam Steingold wrote:

> Hi,
> When I start CLISP with the full linking set (i.e., including all
> possible extensions), I have 63 packages in (list-all-packages), and 
> 37
> of them (more than half!) comes from asdf (22 ASDF/* and 15 UIOP/*).
> I wonder if I am the only one unhappy about this.
> In particular, has it ever been considered that it might be a good 
> idea
> to limit the number of packages asdf creates?

The large number of packages was the outcome of the restructuring of 
ASDF in terms of package inferred systems.

Arguably this provides a better way of automatically identifying the 
dependencies in a complex system like ASDF.

This is not a style of programming that I follow, myself, but it 
certainly seems like a reasonable design decision.

Undoing this would, I believe, be a monumental amount of work, and would 
also lead to a constant need to maintain complicated dependencies by 
hand.  These dependencies potentially change whenever we discover that 
one file/package needs another's capabilities.  With package-inferred 
system construction, we don't have to wrangle ASDF dependencies to keep 
the system building successfully.

To be quite honest, I can't imagine a world in which there is so much 
labor available to ASDF that such fundamentally aesthetic considerations 
would rise to the top of anyone's priority list of ASDF tasks.


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