various suggestions for mr

Adam Spiers vcs-home at
Fri Oct 28 16:00:52 CEST 2011

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM, Dieter Plaetinck <dieter at> wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:34:16 +0100
> Adam Spiers <vcs-home at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM, Dieter Plaetinck
>> <dieter at> wrote:
>> > Sorry that I go slightly off-topic but you mentioned Gnu Stow, I
>> > looked it up and it seems very nice. i haven't run it yet, but (for
>> > those who don't want to read the long description) from the
>> > description it seems like a simple and elegant tool, which you give
>> > a directory ("i want symlinks here") and a bunch of package
>> > directories ("all files in here must be symlinked") and it will do
>> > the right thing on package additions and removals.
>> Yes, it is pretty nice (although the code base is very old-fashioned).
>> One thing it does which I guess other symlink managers wouldn't, is
>> called "tree folding" - i.e. it makes intelligent decisions about when
>> to symlink to a subdirectory vs. to individual files within that
>> subtree:
> IMHO this feature is just common sense and it's among the first things
> I think of when I'm thinking "what would I want a symlink manager to do?",
> so I would expect that people who implement symlink managers either
> also do something like this, or at least list it as a todo.
>> For example, imagine I have a stow package called 'foo' which wants to
>> install a file to ~/local/lib/perl/Acme/ (by "install", I mean
>> set up a symlink so that that path points to the inside the
>> stow package).  If ~/local doesn't already exist, and 'foo' is the
>> only stow package which installs anywhere under ~/local, then stow's
>> tree folding feature will ensure that ~/local is a symlink back to
>> $STOW_DIR/foo/local/lib/perl/Acme/
> Don't you mean to $STOW_DIR/foo/local ?

Yes, sorry :)

>> However I might very well want to manually place other files inside
>> ~/local which have nothing to do with stow, let alone the 'foo' stow
>> package.  It might make sense to have ~/local/lib/perl/Acme/ be a
>> symlink to $STOW_DIR/foo/local/lib/perl/Acme/, but symlinks higher up
>> the tree would be undesirable.  This is easily overcome by creating a
>> special stow package (which I call 'ANTIFOLD')
> this seems a bit messy though. Once you go the way of having a tool automagically
> manage all your symlinks, why not just have the discipline to put all your files
> in appropriate packages? so that you never _need_ to create "antifold" packages?
> what you're doing seems a bit like running into the opposite direction.

I don't understand what you mean; please could you elaborate?
As far as I'm aware, all my files are nicely separated into appropriate
packages, but that doesn't solve the problem.

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