ALFS shortcomings

Jean-Luc Delatre (Kevembuangga) jld at
Thu Sep 13 11:54:27 PDT 2007

Le Thu, 13 Sep 2007 19:16:00 +0200,
"" <macana at> a écrit :

> There is no way to make happy all that distros that insist on customize the 
> default version string output for some tools. I such cases jhalfs will prompt 
> you:
> "If you are sure that you have installed a proper version of {prog_name}
> but jhalfs has failed to detect it, press 'c' and 'ENTER' keys to continue,
> otherwise press 'ENTER' key to stop jhalfs.  "

I claps out because the nasty "version number" happens to contain a
closing ')' :

 grep --version
 grep (grep de GNU) 2.5.1
 1    2     3  4

This screws the whole script which thus does not finishes the setup.
(yeah, not your "fault" but a lack of serendipity)

> > -------------------------------------------------------
> >   config MKFILE
> >    string "Makefile"
> >    default "$JHALFSDIR/Makefile"
> > -------------------------------------------------------
> >  
> You are doing wrong assumptions. MKFILE define the full path to the build 
> Makefile to be generated after parsing the book, NOT the master Makefile 
> included in the jhalfs sources.

I am not doing any "assumptions" I have NOT changed anything in the
config files before running and it DOES screws up the jhalfs/Makefile
(that's how I found out ;-)

> Plus, that setting is under a "Internal settings" sub-menu that is labeled 
> "WARNING: for jhalfs developers only". 
> I think that the GUI is very clear here saying that you must not to change the 
> settings founds inside that menu.

I told you I have NOT changed that setting, could you please check you latest source before arguing?

> By design and developers decision, jhalfs is designed to be used for users 
> that have experience building manually *LFS systems. If you have never build 
> a *LFS system, you can still try use jhalfs, but don't cray if you don't know 
> how to use it. 

I am not crying for help on how to use it, I am complaining about poor design which has nothing to do "normal operations".
Failing to create directories when not yet present means you NEVER tested your script on a "blank slate" partition.
Clobbering the Makefile when running "out of the box" is preposterous!

> Instead of flame us, you should send constructive criticisms, discuss ideas 
> about how to improve the tool, and/or send patches to fix possible bugs. 

I'll do whatever I can and report back.
I have been writing software of all sorts since 1968 (including compilers, drivers, real-time, etc...) and I am a bit tired of the same stories happening again and again.
As you can imagine hardware and software have made tremendous progress since then but the mess always looks and taste the same!

> After all, that is the open source philosophy.

Yeah! I am philosophical about it...
The reason I am complaining is that instead of being a help the "cleverness" makes one wastes one's time.
A good program isn't one where you cannot add anything more but one where you cannot *remove* anything without erasing the main functionality.


P.S. Only Torvalds and suchlike can afford to be clever and still be effective, have a look at 'git'

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