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Re: [PATCH] gnu: Add asunder.

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: [PATCH] gnu: Add asunder.
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2016 08:48:35 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Sat, Dec 24, 2016 at 06:03:45PM -0800, Chris Marusich wrote:

     Why is the wrapper not good here?  What would be a better solution?
     Here's why I think the wrapper produced by 'wrap-program' is a good
     solution in this case:
     * The wrapper script allows us to package the software without modifying
     its source.  As previously explained, Asunder is currently written under
     the assumption that the tools it requires will be made available via the
     PATH environment variable.
     * The wrapper script guarantees "complete deployment" of Asunder (i.e.,
     no missing dependencies).  This is because the wrapper script contains
     references to the components in the store that provide the command-line
     tools that Asunder requires.
     * The wrapper script requires less work than patching Asunder.
     * The wrapper script is more robust than any patch we might attempt to
       apply to Asunder's source code.
     This is a good argument for using a wrapper script in this case.  And I
     believe these points apply to any component, like Asunder, which is
     written under the assumption that tools will be made available via
     PATH.  I also am willing to believe there are cases where the wrapper
     script is undesirable, but I don't think this is one of them.
     If there's a better way to package Asunder, I'm happy to do it.
     However, I haven't heard of any concrete alternatives, or any concrete
     explanations of why a wrapper is undesirable.  Until then, I think using
     a wrapper like this to package components like Asunder is the best way.

I think all your arguments are valid, and I am not disagreeing with you.
I am merely presenting a counter argument for you to consider.

My problem with wrappers is that 1) it makes it difficult for a users
to override environment variables, if they want to for some reason. 2)
programs which the user expects to be a binary are in fact an shell 
script, adding a layer of confusion.

Just my $0.02.


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