Re: [isabelle] polyml 4.2.0?

--- Makarius <makarius at> wrote:

> On Sat, 24 Jun 2006, C Y wrote:
> > As to the former, the major benefit of the emerge system is not
> > automatic installation (although that is a convenience) but the
> > ability to track all files associated with the core install of
> > the software,
> Which means that there is no point to package Isabelle like this,
> because it can be put into a single directory of the user's choice, 
> and removed with rm -rf.
> So is there actually a problem you are trying to solve here, or is
> this just the fun of playing with package managers?  (I know this
> only too well, because I used to entertain myself like this many
> years ago.)

I guess you could say the "problem" I was trying to solve was providing
a convenient installation method for Isabelle within the framework of
the Gentoo system.  My own experience with software outside the package
management system is somewhat mixed, as I have on more than one
occasion had "abandoned" programs hide for some time in isolated
directories and cause trouble when trying to run newer versions of the
same software.  Or, on rarer occasions, a mistake on my part results in
the accidental corruption or removal of a user level tree in some
fashion.  Also, binary only packages will age as core system libraries
are updated, eventually resulting in a non-working setup.  (For
example, I cannot currently run Wolfram's MathReader.)  All of these
situations can be avoided with a managed install in Gentoo, which not
only tracks the package but has an automated way to rebuild any
software that breaks as a result of an upgrade to some other library.

I grant that Isabelle might be a less logical prospect for package
management then most software - I am more accustomed to the model of
having a "core" set of functionality defined in a program which is
shared among multiple users and has the user specific
code/functionality/settings defined in the user directory.  If Isabelle
doesn't have a logical "core" that should be protected/shared, that
does tend to make it a less attractive prospect.  That also means I
need to make a much more careful study of how Isabelle works.

I seem to have stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest, for which I
apologize - that was not my intention.  Mostly my thinking was that I
would like to see tools such as Isabelle in much wider use, and one way
to help might be to "incorporate" Isabelle as a standard package in
Gentoo.  Isabelle looks to be one of the best tools in this particular
field of research, so it was a natural place to start.  If there are
sound reasons for avoiding package management then that is no problem.


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