Packages depending on Yelp

Matt McCutchen matt at
Tue May 25 19:58:55 UTC 2010

On Tue, 2010-05-25 at 20:22 +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> We discussed this issue at the fesco meeting today. The net outcome was 
> that it's currently impractical to require that all packages that use 
> yelp depend on it. However, requiring all yelp-using apps to integrate 
> support for telling the user what's wrong may be unreasonable.
> Long-term, it would be nice for this to integrate with PackageKit 
> somehow. Short-term, the simplest solution would seem to be to provide a 
> stub package that provides: yelp and a yelp binary, and then have that 
> binary do nothing other than tell the user that they need to install 
> yelp. Spins would then be at liberty to choose whether to provide the 
> "real" yelp or the stub version. Once that's implemented dependencies 
> can be added.
> Does anyone have any objection to this approach?

We would have to ensure that (1) "yum install yelp" chooses the real
package rather than the stub and (2) the real package can be installed
on a system containing the stub without causing a file conflict.

An alternative would be to provide a wrapper script that runs yelp if
present or otherwise tells the user to install it, and have applications
require the wrapper package.  We could either give the wrapper script a
different name and patch all applications to run that name or rename the
real yelp executable and have all callers go through the wrapper.  I
don't see any way to avoid patching all the application packages to
require the wrapper package rather than "yelp", given that we want
installing "yelp" to actually install it but installing an application
to only install the wrapper.


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