[csw-maintainers] Packaging gems and package naming conventions

Oliver Kiddle okiddle at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Oct 21 11:11:05 CEST 2010

Philip Brown wrote:
> If you take away all limits, the output would probably require
> 150-char wide screen.

Putting aside the discussion about whether there should be no arbitrary
limits we do have a very real issue at the moment where the new SONAME
based libraries are going to cause us to hit the 20 character limit more
often. I think the SONAME package idea of Maciej's is really good and it
is be worth making compromises to accomodate it. From the histogram, 28
and 30 stick out as good possible candidates for a new limit. 24 would
solve my immediate problem with pygobject.

The pkgutil -c output has been cited in the arguments for a limit so
let's consider it;
CSWzlib                   1.2.5,REV=2010.09.22      1.2.4,REV=2010.03.19
|         |         |         |         |         |         |         |
                          |         |         |     |         |         |
                          1234567890123456789012345 1234567890123456789012345678

If you assume only one space to divide fields, we currently have 25
characters for the package name, 25 for the installed version and 28 for
the catalogue version. That's with a limit on the package name of 20
characters. So an increase to 28 characters would be possible without
any effect on 80-wide terminal users (take 3 from the catalog column and
reduce the margin to the installed column down to 1). We could make
further space by replacing ",REV=" with a space or other single
character in both versions. That's all without resorting to the dpkg
--list approach of checking $COLUMNS and truncating package names. If we
ever do that, we should add options like dpkg --get-selections where the
output is for the consumption of a script rather than a human.


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