Goal: Increased Modularity?

Richi Plana myfedora at richip.dhs.org
Tue Sep 4 19:08:12 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-09-04 at 09:57 -0800, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> On 9/4/07, Richi Plana <myfedora at richip.dhs.org> wrote:
> > gstreamer-plugins-*
> Can you give me a plausibly rational usage case where it is in the
> best interest of the targeted usage group of any gstreamer based
> application to not have ogg vorbis playback capability rolled into the
> set of plugins? I can't.

The choice of libvorbis really was just to illustrate how something
that's optional in the usage sense isn't optional in the packaging
sense. I certainly can't come up with a use case where it won't be in
the best interest of the targeted userbase to have. Truth be told, the
gstreamer plugins system is exactly about modularity. It's the packaging
of the plugins into -good, -bad, -ugly that breaks the modularity in the
packaging sense. If I was a "modularity" zealot, I'd argue for having
gstreamer-plugins-ogg-vorbis packages, etc., but I'm not. Read below.

> Taking things to the extreme of ultimate modularity is a fallacy.
> Making components modular has tradeoffs in terms of usability and the
> discussion to increase modularity needs to have a usage case point of
> view in mind.

_I_ don't believe in ultimate or absolute anything. That's not what I
was looking for. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that there
should only be modularization when there's an existing need or even a
predicted, likely need. The whole point to my bringing up the topic of
keeping an eye on modularization was to solve a couple of problems that
some people have.

First, a couple of users are clamoring for lighter distributions.
Services which aren't needed shouldn't be installed. Some people asked
why certain services like sendmail needed to be installed. Somebody
replied by saying a respin could be done, so I just checked if it was
indeed possible by doing a "yum remove sendmail" and that's when I
discovered that mutt and tor needed them when they should be optional.

Of course, as it turns out, it's not sendmail that they require
specifically but smtpdaemon. So I was in error with that example as the
system DOES show a good deal of modularity via the virtual provides.

So my two examples stink, :).

I guess my point is that if the answer to a lot of people's requests is
that "they can spin things themselves", I just thought it would be an
important consideration for Fedora to give the respinners that
flexibility THROUGH modularization.

Richi Plana

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