[Exherbo-dev] Non-boolean choices?

Ciaran McCreesh ciaran.mccreesh at googlemail.com
Mon Aug 3 00:00:45 BST 2009

This one's more of an Exherbo thing than a Paludis thing I think,
simply because it needs distro support to be useful (and because the
Paludis code is easy if we decide we like it)...

The short version is, we'd be letting you do:

    */* build_options: jobs=4

rather than setting MAKEOPTS="-j4".

From an exheres perspective, we could go a few ways:

1) We could just make MAKEOPTS magically generated

2) We could make a new EXJOBS variable, change the emake definition to
   use it as well as MAKEOPTS, and let exhereses use EXJOBS freely

3) We could make a generic optionparam function, and let exhereses do
   optionparam build_options:jobs. This would mean exporting
   build_options to exhereses.

The argument against 3) is that build_options is a package manager
internal config thing, and we've avoided exporting it to the exheres so

The argument in favour of 3) is that we could maybe allow something

    MYOPTIONS="foo [[ parameter = [ integer ] ]]"

except I'm not sure of any use cases for that. It'd only be of use
where the parameter's a single value from an effectively unbound set,
since otherwise you'd use a suboption and number-selected.

So the questions are:

* Is this nice or icky?

* Other than build_options:jobs, are there any other things that should
  behave that way? Ingmar seems to want a build_options:load_average,
  which I hate because it's a silly option. I'm also sort of thinking
  that Accounts could use uid=123 etc.

* Are there any exhereses that would work better with this kind of
  thing than they do with suboptions and number-selected?

* If we do do build_options:jobs=4, does this have sneaky implications
  for parallel builds? If we know we can only spawn one job at once, do
  we use jobs=4, but otherwise split those jobs amongst spawned

* If anyone cares, can we get the jobs thing to work for Gentoo too?

Ciaran McCreesh
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