Hmmm. I understand your arguments, but I'm not sure I'm convinced (believe
me, I know I'm just one voice of many - hopefully others will chime in).
Here's a couple examples which raise the bar substantially for people to
use the incremental Iwidget distributions:
1) UNIX users (Linux for the most part) who have a distribution that
includes Tcl/Tk, Itcl/Itk, etc. These distributions don't have the source
code available. Now instead of just installing some scripts they'll have to
get the source, build, etc. Consider BWidgets. You could argue that
BWidgets requires Tk, but there's no dependency on it for installation. In
fact, one can take the BWidget distribution and drop it in any old
directory and run with it.
2) Windows users also don't have the source. The Activestate distribution
includes Iwidgets. But there's no easy way for someone to download the
latest version of Iwidgets, install, and run.
The Iwidget distribution is very developer friendly, but not user friendly.
What if I have an application that needs the latest Iwidget distribution. I
now have to place a much heavier burden on the end user (who probably is
not a developer, but is capable of clicking an Install button).
The test suite can certainly be made to work with the simpler install.
Actually, if I recall (haven't run the test in awhile), you actually have
to install the Iwidgets before the tests will run. This kind of bothers me.
I like to configure, make, make test, and then make install if I'm
satastied with the test results.
A new installation process could easily have a dependency check for the
existence of Itcl/Itk (yet still allow them to install anyway, even if they
I do believe we should strive for installation process that's as easy as
BWidgets. Of course it would be better since we have a nice test suite.
Chad Smith <csmith@... on 11/29/2001
Please respond to chad_smith@...
Sent by: incrtcl-users-admin@...
Subject: Re: [Incrtcl-users] configure.in file necessary for Iwidgets?
There are two reasons for requiring the end user to have Itcl source
installed before installing the Iwidgets: one is an testing reason
and the other is more philosophical. (First let me say that I definitely
agree with you that it would make the configure.in and Makefile.in
files much less complicated by removing the dependencies, but I think
the dependencies should remain nonetheless.)
First, the testing reason is simply because of `make test`. I think the
first task a user should do before using the Iwidgets is to make sure
everything works on his system. Well actually, the first thing that
comes to mind here is why *wouldn't* everything work? True. But, it's
still nice to get a warm fuzzy, especially for UNIX folks who tend to
be less "plug-n-play" than Windows folks.
Next, the philosophical-type reason is, Iwidgets is an extension to Itk.
I don't think it's unreasonable to require that the user install all
"baseline packages" prior to installing extensions which depend on them.
Though not as drastic, it's similar to requiring that Tcl be installed
before installing Tk. You can't use the Iwidgets without having Itcl
I like your idea about having a graphical Iwidgets installer! That'd
be pretty slick. Perhaps that can be opened at SF as a feature request?
Unless we had a volunteer, though, it might sit there a while.
Anyway, hopefully I answered your questions.
Talk to you later,
> Since Iwidgets was surgically removed from the Itcl/Itk distribution, the
> existing installation process seems overly complex. I understand the
> was probably followed as the simplest and quickest (at the time) method
> perform the surgery. However, should we now take the next step and remove
> any dependencies on having Itcl (and maybe tcl, I forget) source
> It's currently not possible (unless I've missed something) to give the
> Iwidgets distribution to someone who doesn't have the Itcl/Itk sources
> I would think the make file could be greatly simplified to just copy the
> source files to a user specified directory. Also the man pages, demos,
> Just seems much too complicated for a distribution that requires no
> compilation, etc. In a perfect world we'd also have a graphical (tk of
> course) installer that would ask the few questions and the do the
> copy generic/ files to install directory
> generate man pages (if needed) and copy to install directory
> generate man html pages for the catalog program, and copy to
> install directory
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