Guidelines for creating subpackages?

Joachim Frieben jfrieben at
Sun Dec 2 08:53:45 UTC 2007

> > I understand, but why then have been built vtk, vtk-python, vtk-qt,
> > and vtk-tcl packages but only a combined vtk-devel package which
> > depends on the former ones?
> This might be a parallel to pidgin-perl or libpurple-tcl, but there is 
> only one pidgin-devel package.  The reason perl or tcl was split out 
> into sub-packages is because the vast majority of users don't need the 
> perl or tcl capability, but including them in the main package caused 
> all users to pull in tcl and perl when they were not necessary.
> -devel on the other hand is not meant to be installed except by 
> developers.  It might pull a large number of things, also needed only by 
> developers.  This is not inconsistent.
> Warren

First of all, vtk-devel at least pulls in vtk-python, vtk-tcl, vtk-qt,
tcl, tk, qt beyond packages that were already required by the base
system. Are these packages specific to developers? I doubt so.
Moreover, what you call developers are not necessarily hardcore
developers of the package under consideration, so it might be simple
people who just need/want to build an application based upon the VTK
As a matter of fact, Fedora does not even include a single application
that uses any of vtk, vtk-python, vtk-qt, vtk-tcl [well, vtk-examples
and vtk-testing but that probably doesn't count].
Apart from using 3rd party binaries, any person interested in the vtk
package necessarily is what you call 'developer'. So, the term 'user'
essentially loses any meaning in this context.
Finally, the case of the plplot package shows that my initial request
is by no means exotic, and I maintain my point that it would be sign
of userfriendliness not to impose unneeded packages like the ones
enumerated above on a user of the vtk package.
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