[nmh-workers] Unnecessary dependency on vi???

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[nmh-workers] Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Jon Steinhart-2
Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.

I don't know if anybody has given any thought as to what should be a
dependency and what shouldn't.  Seems to me that dependencies should
be things necessary to build, install, and run (libraries) a program.
Not other companion programs on the system.  I think that a run-time
error message of the form "No editor defined.  Set EDITOR or VISUAL
in your environment , or Editor in your .mh_profile" is a better way
to go.

Of course, I could be completely off base here if vi is actually used
as part of the build process.  But that would seem weird to me too.

Jon

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ken Hornstein-2
>Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
>My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
>between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.

Is this a "conflict" (as in, you can't have both of the packages
installed at the same time) or a "requirement" (you need to have vi
installed to use nmh)?  You say "conflict", but later on you imply
it's a dependency issue.

FWIW, the spec file we use as a template in nmh only has a BuildRequires
of flex and ncurses-devel, and no requirements for vi.  We don't
necessarily have control over the dependencies used by various
distributions in their nmh packages.

As for the the editor ... we had a discussion about that a while ago,
and the consensus was ${VISUAL} -> ${EDITOR} -> vi.

  http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/nmh-workers/2013-01/msg00099.html

Does that mean that it should be a dependency of the packaging system?
I'm unclear on that.  I'm not really interested in requiring people to
have EDITOR/VISUAL set, so we have to fall back to SOMETHING, and I think
vi is a reasonable default.

--Ken

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Paul Fox-3
ken wrote:
 > >Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
 > >My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
 > >between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.
 >
 > Is this a "conflict" (as in, you can't have both of the packages
 > installed at the same time) or a "requirement" (you need to have vi
 > installed to use nmh)?  You say "conflict", but later on you imply
 > it's a dependency issue.
 >
 > FWIW, the spec file we use as a template in nmh only has a BuildRequires
 > of flex and ncurses-devel, and no requirements for vi.  We don't
 > necessarily have control over the dependencies used by various
 > distributions in their nmh packages.
 >
 > As for the the editor ... we had a discussion about that a while ago,
 > and the consensus was ${VISUAL} -> ${EDITOR} -> vi.
 >
 >   http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/nmh-workers/2013-01/msg00099.html
 >
 > Does that mean that it should be a dependency of the packaging system?
 > I'm unclear on that.  I'm not really interested in requiring people to
 > have EDITOR/VISUAL set, so we have to fall back to SOMETHING, and I think
 > vi is a reasonable default.

I remember that thread.  I don't think anyone participating was
suggesting that there be a hard dependency on vi.  As long as it's
clear from the docs (or the error message) that you can choose the
editor of your choice by setting an environment variable, then the
default of vi is just a nicety.  So Jon's reported behavior should
be considered a bug in his distribution.  (I think under
debian/ubuntu, the vi dependency would be a "suggested" installation,
not a requirement.)

paul
=----------------------
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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Jon Steinhart
In reply to this post by Ken Hornstein-2
Ken Hornstein writes:

> >Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
> >My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
> >between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.
>
> Is this a "conflict" (as in, you can't have both of the packages
> installed at the same time) or a "requirement" (you need to have vi
> installed to use nmh)?  You say "conflict", but later on you imply
> it's a dependency issue.
>
> FWIW, the spec file we use as a template in nmh only has a BuildRequires
> of flex and ncurses-devel, and no requirements for vi.  We don't
> necessarily have control over the dependencies used by various
> distributions in their nmh packages.
>
> As for the the editor ... we had a discussion about that a while ago,
> and the consensus was ${VISUAL} -> ${EDITOR} -> vi.
>
>   http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/nmh-workers/2013-01/msg00099.html
>
> Does that mean that it should be a dependency of the packaging system?
> I'm unclear on that.  I'm not really interested in requiring people to
> have EDITOR/VISUAL set, so we have to fall back to SOMETHING, and I think
> vi is a reasonable default.
>
> --Ken

Below is a recent update attempt.  It seems that part of the issue is requiring
a particular version of vi which doesn't seem necessary.

And I'm not disagreeing with the need to fall back to SOMETHING, I just think
that it makes more sense to have an error if that SOMETHING can't be found than
to have it be dependency.  After all, that SOMETHING could go away after nmh
was installed, so it would seem like that case would need to be handled anyway.

sudo dnf -y update
[sudo] password for jon:
Last metadata expiration check: 0:59:34 ago on Fri 09 Mar 2018 07:00:04 AM PST.
Dependencies resolved.

 Problem: package nmh-1.6-14.fc27.x86_64 requires /bin/vi, but none of the providers can be installed
  - cannot install both vim-minimal-2:8.0.1553-1.fc27.x86_64 and vim-minimal-2:8.0.1527-1.fc27.x86_64
  - cannot install both vim-minimal-2:8.0.1176-1.fc27.x86_64 and vim-minimal-2:8.0.1553-1.fc27.x86_64
  - cannot install the best update candidate for package vim-minimal-2:8.0.1527-1.fc27.x86_64
  - cannot install the best update candidate for package nmh-1.6-14.fc27.x86_64
====================================================================================================================================
 Package                         Arch                       Version                               Repository                   Size
====================================================================================================================================
Skipping packages with conflicts:
(add '--best --allowerasing' to command line to force their upgrade):
 vim-minimal                     x86_64                     2:8.0.1176-1.fc27                     fedora                      532 k
 vim-minimal                     x86_64                     2:8.0.1553-1.fc27                     updates                     540 k

Transaction Summary
====================================================================================================================================
Skip  2 Packages


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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
In reply to this post by Jon Steinhart-2
Hi Jon,

> Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
> My Fedora Core 27 installation

What is Fedora Core 27?  :-)  Fedora 26 is the latest version, so 27
might be Fedora Devel, but then you said it's crusty as if the 27 is a
typo for something older, but they stopped calling it Core with Core 6,
which is very crusty;  2006.

> I think that a run-time error message of the form "No editor defined.
> Set EDITOR or VISUAL in your environment , or Editor in your
> .mh_profile" is a better way to go.

It would be nice to see what you're seeing.

Using $VISUAL, $EDITOR, then `vi', as Ken said, is fine, but should not
create a packaging `requires' on a `vi', or even a `suggests' IMO.  As
Paul said, the error message when running vi fails just needs to be
clear.  I imagine Emacs users out there would not like to have to
install vi just for this;  imagine if it was the other way around.  :-)

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

David Levine-3
In reply to this post by Jon Steinhart-2
Jon wrote:

> Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
> My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
> between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.

Here's why:

1) nmh depended on /bin/vi
2) vim-minimal recently changed what it provides from /bin/vi to /usr/bin/vi

The even-more-recent fix was to change the nmh dependency from /bin/vi
to /usr/bin/vi.

That nmh package is currently in testing if you want to get it
from there.  If you'd like to help expedite nmh's (1.7.1) passage
through the testing process for the benefit of users on Fedora 27,
please click under the green +1 button and then the "Add Comment &
Feedback" button on:
https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/updates/FEDORA-2018-05bd7b4801

> I don't know if anybody has given any thought as to what should be a
> dependency and what shouldn't.

The decision to add Fedora nmh dependency on vi was made over 12
years ago.  I didn't make it, but I agree with it (and I set
Editor in my profile, and EDITOR, and VISUAL to something other
than vi).  It minimizes the configuration required by a user in
order to use nmh.  If a user wants a different configuration, they
can easily change it.

> Seems to me that dependencies should
> be things necessary to build, install, and run (libraries) a program.

Note that build (BuildRequires) and run-time (Requires) dependencies
are separate for this purpose.

> Of course, I could be completely off base here if vi is actually used
> as part of the build process.  But that would seem weird to me too.

Right, vi is a run-time dependency, not a build dependency.

Ken wrote:

# we have to fall back to SOMETHING, and I think vi is a reasonable default.

Especially because vi is POSIX.

David

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

David Levine-3
In reply to this post by Paul Fox-3
Paul F wrote:

> I don't think anyone participating was suggesting that there be a
> hard dependency on vi.

The decision on Fedora was made prior to that discussion.  (And, it
was made on Fedora, not by nmh.)

> (I think under
> debian/ubuntu, the vi dependency would be a "suggested" installation,
> not a requirement.)

I don't know of a good way to do that in a Fedora RPM spec.  I don't
consider mentioning it in the rpm description to be "good".

David

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

David Levine-3
Here's the Fedora bug report:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1551126

The initial report included this:

    Additional info:
    I guess that shows how few people still use nmh ;^)

David

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Kevin Cosgrove-2
In reply to this post by David Levine-3

On 11 March 2018 at 14:19, David Levine <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Jon wrote:
>
> > Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
> > My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
> > between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.
>
> Here's why:
>
> 1) nmh depended on /bin/vi
> 2) vim-minimal recently changed what it provides from /bin/vi to /usr/bin/vi
>
> The even-more-recent fix was to change the nmh dependency from /bin/vi
> to /usr/bin/vi.
>
> That nmh package is currently in testing if you want to get it
> from there.  If you'd like to help expedite nmh's (1.7.1) passage
> through the testing process for the benefit of users on Fedora 27,
> please click under the green +1 button and then the "Add Comment &
> Feedback" button on:
> https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/updates/FEDORA-2018-05bd7b4801

For what it's worth, Fedora 26 has the same issue as 27.

Cheerio...



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Kevin



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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

David Levine-3
Kevin wrote:

> For what it's worth, Fedora 26 has the same issue as 27.

The issue was fixed for Fedora 26 (and Fedora 28 and EL6 and EPEL 7).
The Fedora 26 package was moved to stable 2 hours ago, so should soon
be available as an update:
    https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/updates/FEDORA-2018-ca3ff1ee8d

If you'd like to help expedite nmh 1.7.1's passage through the
testing process for the benefit of users on Fedora 26, please
click under the green +1 button and then the "Add Comment &
Feedback" button on:
    https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/updates/FEDORA-2018-4bfdedd0a9

David

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
In reply to this post by David Levine-3
Hi David,

> > (I think under debian/ubuntu, the vi dependency would be a
> > "suggested" installation, not a requirement.)
>
> I don't know of a good way to do that in a Fedora RPM spec.  I don't
> consider mentioning it in the rpm description to be "good".

I've been poking about.  Here's some links and extracts from them.

    https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Guidelines#Effect_of_the_UsrMove_Fedora_Feature
    Things that history has placed into /bin, /sbin, /lib, or /lib64
    should be listed in the %files section as being in those
    directories.

So it's reasonable that Fedora's vim package recently moved /bin/vi to
/usr/bin;  it's far too big for /bin.  :-)

    https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Guidelines#Weak_dependencies
    Weak dependencies (Recommends:, Suggests:, Supplements: and
    Enhances:) MAY be used to specify relationships between packages
    which are less strict than mandatory requirements.

Weak dependencies are a recentish addition to RPM specs AIUI.

    https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:WeakDependencies
    Weak dependencies should be used where possible to minimize the
    installation for reasonable use cases, especially for building
    virtual machines or containers that have a single purpose only and
    do not require the full feature set of the package.

`where possible'.  nmh is readily usable without a text editor, e.g. for
incoming mail filtering, so I don't think it should be a Requires.
Looking at https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nmh/blob/master/f/nmh.spec
I'd say /usr/sbin/sendmail, libcurl, and w3m are similarly weak?

An aside: Does any package other than vim provide /usr/bin/vi?  I think
the command might be `dnf provides /usr/bin/vi'.  I expect it's a bunch
of different sized vim-based packages.

Package cronie provides crontab(1) that F27's
https://manned.org/crontab/b340cf46 says uses $VISUAL, then $EDITOR, for
`-e' but I don't see a dependency for an editor, weak or otherwise, in
https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/cronie/blob/master/f/cronie.spec.  I
suspect other editor-using packages also ignore this.  I don't think
Fedora has a generic feature package like `text-editor' that multiple
editor packages can satisfy;  certainly
https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/ed/blob/master/f/ed.spec doesn't seem
to provide it.

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Paul Fox-3
ralph wrote:
 > An aside: Does any package other than vim provide /usr/bin/vi?  I think
 > the command might be `dnf provides /usr/bin/vi'.  I expect it's a bunch
 > of different sized vim-based packages.

vile is another vi alternative, on all linux distributions, and at least
some of the XXXXbsd distros.

i'd bet nvi is also available everywhere, though i haven't checked that,
since i don't use it.

ubuntu provides elvis, but i think it's more of a toy at this point.

paul
=----------------------
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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
Hi Paul,

> > An aside: Does any package other than vim provide /usr/bin/vi?  I
> > think the command might be `dnf provides /usr/bin/vi'.  I expect
> > it's a bunch of different sized vim-based packages.
>
> vile is another vi alternative, on all linux distributions, and at
> least some of the XXXXbsd distros.

https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/vile/blob/master/f/vile.spec provides
/usr/bin/vile.

> i'd bet nvi is also available everywhere, though i haven't checked
> that, since i don't use it.

Yes, I checked
https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nvi/blob/master/f/nvi.spec and it
provides /usr/bin/nvi, not .../vi.

(I was unable to find a web-based equivalent of Debian's or Ubuntu's
package search for Fedora.)

> ubuntu provides elvis, but i think it's more of a toy at this point.

Not at the above web site.  And there was Stevie, vim's ancestor.
That's not there either.

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Paul Fox-3
ralph wrote:
 > Hi Paul,
 >
 > > > An aside: Does any package other than vim provide /usr/bin/vi?  I
 > > > think the command might be `dnf provides /usr/bin/vi'.  I expect
 > > > it's a bunch of different sized vim-based packages.
 > >
 > > vile is another vi alternative, on all linux distributions, and at
 > > least some of the XXXXbsd distros.
 >
 > https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/vile/blob/master/f/vile.spec provides
 > /usr/bin/vile.
 >
 > > i'd bet nvi is also available everywhere, though i haven't checked
 > > that, since i don't use it.
 >
 > Yes, I checked
 > https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nvi/blob/master/f/nvi.spec and it
 > provides /usr/bin/nvi, not .../vi.

i thought we were talking about (the fedora equivalent of)
/etc/alternatives, not installed pathname:

    $ update-alternatives --list vi
    /usr/bin/levee
    /usr/bin/nvi
    /usr/bin/vile
    /usr/bin/vim.basic
    /usr/bin/vim.tiny

(i've never tried levee -- i only just now installed it to make the list
longer. ;-)

surely the nmh package requirement isn't on a a specific provider of
{/usr}/bin/vi, is it?  i guess i would have never noticed, since vim
is always present before i install vile, and i never bother removing it.

paul

 >
 > (I was unable to find a web-based equivalent of Debian's or Ubuntu's
 > package search for Fedora.)
 >
 > > ubuntu provides elvis, but i think it's more of a toy at this point.
 >
 > Not at the above web site.  And there was Stevie, vim's ancestor.
 > That's not there either.
 >
 > --
 > Cheers, Ralph.
 > https://plus.google.com/+RalphCorderoy
 >
 > --
 > nmh-workers
 > https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers
 >


=----------------------
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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
Hi Paul,

> i thought we were talking about (the fedora equivalent of)
> /etc/alternatives, not installed pathname:

Nope.

> surely the nmh package requirement isn't on a a specific provider of
> {/usr}/bin/vi, is it?

Yep.  Please examine
https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nmh/blob/master/f/nmh.spec,
especially line eight.  :-)

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Alternatives#Usage_within_Fedora
says Fedora's `alternatives' system mustn't be used for vi, and explains
why.

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

David Levine-3
In reply to this post by Ralph Corderoy
Ralph wrote:

> Weak dependencies are a recentish addition to RPM specs AIUI.

Thanks.  These don't seem to be widely used; of the 2,945 packages
on my Fedora 27 system, only 78 have a recommendation or
suggestion, and some of those are related packages.

But it'll have to wait for Fedora 29.  The Fedora 28 ship has
sailed, and I don't think it's worth cranking out updates for
Fedora 26-28 just for this.

> Looking at https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nmh/blob/master/f/nmh.spec
> I'd say /usr/sbin/sendmail, libcurl, and w3m are similarly weak?

libcurl is there so that nmh configures and builds with OAUTH
support.  It doesn't need to be an explicit Requires; rpmbuild
notices that it's used, due to the BuildRequires, and implicitly
includes the run-time requirement.  And, libdb and readline don't
need explicit BuildRequires because their -devel packages require
their presence.

w3m is used (on Fedora) for these:
    mhbuild-convert-text/html: charset="%{charset}"; /usr/bin/w3m -dump ${charset:+-I} ${charset:+"$charset"} -O utf-8 -T text/html %F  | fmt | sed 's/^\(.\)/> \1/; s/^$/>/;'
    mhfixmsg-format-text/html: charset="%{charset}"; /usr/bin/w3m -dump ${charset:+-I} ${charset:+"$charset"} -O utf-8 -T text/html %F
    mhshow-show-text/html: charset="%{charset}"; %l/usr/bin/w3m -dump ${charset:+-I} ${charset:+"$charset"} -T text/html %F

The net result is that I'm thinking of these changes to the spec:

-Requires:      /usr/bin/vi
-Requires:      /usr/sbin/sendmail
+Suggests:      /usr/bin/vi
+Suggests:      /usr/sbin/sendmail

-Requires:      libcurl
-BuildRequires: libdb
-BuildRequires: readline

> An aside: Does any package other than vim provide /usr/bin/vi?  I think
> the command might be `dnf provides /usr/bin/vi'.

Doesn't look like it:

    $ dnf whatprovides /usr/bin/vi
    vim-minimal-2:8.0.1187-1.fc27.x86_64 : A minimal version of the VIM editor
    Repo        : @System
    Matched from:
    Filename    : /usr/bin/vi

(I excised updates of vim-minimal from the output.)

> I expect it's a bunch of different sized vim-based packages.

Other packages provide derivatives with slightly different names, e.g.,
/usr/bin/vim, and /usr/bin/nvi and /usr/bin/vile as you found.

David

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Paul Fox-3
In reply to this post by Ralph Corderoy
ralph wrote:
 > Hi Paul,
 >
 > > i thought we were talking about (the fedora equivalent of)
 > > /etc/alternatives, not installed pathname:
 >
 > Nope.
 >
 > > surely the nmh package requirement isn't on a a specific provider of
 > > {/usr}/bin/vi, is it?
 >
 > Yep.  Please examine
 > https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/nmh/blob/master/f/nmh.spec,
 > especially line eight.  :-)
 >
 > https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Alternatives#Usage_within_Fedora
 > says Fedora's `alternatives' system mustn't be used for vi, and explains
 > why.

well, part of me wants to take offense at that, since it's not like
vim is completely compatible with the "real" vi.  nvi is much closer,
in that regard, and should really be the rewrite that gets to use the
/usr/bin/vi name.  but i take their point -- as much as i tried to
preserve finger-habit compatibility in vile, there's no way a user
wouldn't be surprised by getting vile instead of either vim or nvi.

none of which has much bearing on nmh.  so regarding the real issue
we have at hand, i agree with david's proposal:

 > The net result is that I'm thinking of these changes to the spec:
 >
 > -Requires:      /usr/bin/vi
 > -Requires:      /usr/sbin/sendmail
 > +Suggests:      /usr/bin/vi
 > +Suggests:      /usr/sbin/sendmail

paul
=----------------------
paul fox, [hidden email] (arlington, ma, where it's 41.0 degrees)


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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
In reply to this post by David Levine-3
Hi David,

> The net result is that I'm thinking of these changes to the spec:
>
> -Requires:      /usr/bin/vi
> -Requires:      /usr/sbin/sendmail
> +Suggests:      /usr/bin/vi
> +Suggests:      /usr/sbin/sendmail
>
> -Requires:      libcurl
> -BuildRequires: libdb
> -BuildRequires: readline

+1, echoing Vixie.

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Ralph Corderoy
Hi again,

I wrote:
> +1, echoing Vixie.

No, echoing Fox, as he pointed out, originator of vile,
https://groups.google.com/forum/message/raw?msg=alt.sources/sDdLn05DjV0/1iLfpPf0kYEJ

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Re: Unnecessary dependency on vi???

Andy Bradford-2
In reply to this post by Paul Fox-3
Thus said Paul Fox on Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:50:24 -0400:

> well, part of  me wants to take  offense at that, since  it's not like
> vim is completely  compatible with the "real" vi. nvi  is much closer,
> in that regard, and should really be  the rewrite that gets to use the
> /usr/bin/vi name.

As a long-time  nvi user, I'm always annoyed that  vim doesn't work more
like vi. :-)

Andy
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