RFC: shipping external-tree plugins

Robert Collins robertc at robertcollins.net
Thu Jul 31 01:45:57 BST 2008

On Wed, 2008-07-30 at 16:45 -0700, Colin D Bennett wrote:

> > I think that if/when bzr bundles plugins we will have to roll point
> > releases to include fixes to the bundled plugins - its part and parcel
> > of presenting more code to the user by default.
> I *strongly* feel that bzr should be available separate from any
> plugins.

Well it is - from source. Why does it need to be available separately
though - what does this do to help users?

>   However, can't a distro use a "metapackage" to package bzr
> with some plugin packages?  For instance, on Ubuntu there is
> 'build-essential' which installs all the important packages to be able
> to compile and link C programs.  On Gentoo, there is the concept of a
> meta ebuild <http://gentoo-wiki.com/Meta_Ebuild> such as the KDE
> package.

Sure, packaging can be done that way. However downstream packagers
generally follow the lead of upstreams; we need to be sure we have
tested the combination we're asking people to install by default.

> It would make sense to have the following packages, as an example of a
> possible packaging scheme:
>  bzr-core : this is bzr itself
>  bzrtools : the bzrtools plugin
>  bzr-gtk : the bzr-gtk plugin
>  bzr : a metapackage that depends on the following:
>      bzr-core
>      bzrtools
>      bzr-gtk ?
>      etc.

This is a possible on Debian; but we seem to have a consistent history
of users not knowing what is available - thats the real bug we need to

> For instance, if you are setting up a bzr (smart) server, there is no
> reason to have bzrtools installed on it, right?  That's just more
> things to maintain and be upgraded or break.  You might not want to have
> GTK+ installed on a server, in fact, so no bzr-gtk plugin for you.

If you have a server, admins will probably want the normal toolchain
available, so thats a reason to have bzrtools. You certainly do want
bzr-email installed for instance to send emails on push.
bzr-gtk, if shipped with bzr (its not in my patch I don't think)
would probably suggest gtk rather than requiring, though that is

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