[Exherbo-dev] Tags vs. categories

Bernd Steinhauser exherbo at bernd-steinhauser.de
Wed Jul 9 21:24:42 BST 2008

Michael Croes schrieb:
>> So what would a user do to install a package, lets say gcc?
>> First, he would search for the package, which might look like this:
>> inquisitio --search --tags compiler cpp
> First off, there's 2 possibilities:
> 1. The user knows the package name and types 'paludis -i package-name'
> 2. the user doesn't know the name and uses something else to find the
> name out (presumably inquisitio) and then types 'paludis -i
> package-name'
Yes, and finding stiff isn't always that easy, and tags help to find 
things easier, and they help to find alternatives (you can search for 
packages that are similar).

>> Then he would install the package using paludis.
>> Maybe an installation mode might be possible using tags, if the tags are 
>> enough to narrow it down, but maybe that might not be a good idea.
>> The good thing about this is, that 1. and 2. can change, but what the 
>> user uses (and he should mainly use the tags) stays the same, so a 
>> change wouldn't cause as much confusion as it would if all three change.
> The thing where you go wrong is that you assume that tags are part of
> the unique package name. Of course you don't want tags as part of the
> unique package name, you don't want a category as part of the unique
> package name either. The way this turns out right now in gentoo with
> paludis is that if a package exists in multiple categories you need to
> provide paludis with extra information to establish the unique
> identifier for the package.
No, not at all. The tags don't have anything to do with the way the 
packages is identified. They are just additional information that the 
user can access.

>> If we also (auto-)create some special tags, like system, world or 
>> installed, it would also be possible to for example search for all 
>> installed cpp compilers using --tags installed compilers cpp.
>> (Currently one would use --kind for that.)
> Let's do versions with tags too and create the Totally Tagged Package
> Manager. All you need to do is figure out tags, you don't need any other
> metadata than tags, that would be useless...
Stop the useless nagging, thank you.

>> But here we see the problem with tags.
>> Changing tags should not have any affect on 1. or 2., so tags should are 
>> not a complete replacement for the categories we currently use.
>> The should be used for the user interface and only there, not for the 
>> structure our repos have.
> Because tags should not be part of the unique identifier for a packge
> this issue doesn't exist.
> The real issue when dropping categories is how to distinguish between
> different packages with the same name, I think it has already been
> mentioned on the mailing list before. Your email shows that having tags
> fixes the issues you see with categories and shows that if you use tags
> as if they were categories, stuff would go wrong. That's why they're not
> called categories, they're different.
See, you didn't really read what I wrote.
What you are trying to solve belongs to point 1. in my list.
I was *only* talking about what the user uses.

You could even use a system for the actual storage, inspired by tags or 
similar. What I supposed gives you the ability to basically select just 
about any solution, because you don't have to worry about the user 
interface as much as you had to before.


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