Re: autogen is misconfigured

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Michael Schwendt wrote:
> There seems to be a separate "autogen-devel" package, which contains
> header files. Most likely options.h is included.

Given that autogen is a development package anyway.  GCC-from-source
builders aside, essentially anyone wanting autogen is going to want
the two files in autogen-devel.  Given that and the sub-marginal
amount of space taken by the two files, I fail to understand why
it is worth the bother to separate.

>> and the two misnamed executables.
> The package uses the "alternatives" system for these two. Probably this is
> not obvious. /usr/bin/columns and /usr/bin/getdefs are two very generic
> file names which pollute the /usr/bin namespace and bear the risk of
> causing a conflict with other software. It would be beneficial if autogen
> called the files differently and used an own namespace, e.g. with a prefix
> or postfix.

"getdefs" can be so treated.  Go ahead and add an "ag-" prefix or something.
I don't particularly see it as a very generic name, but renaming it is
not crucial.  Renaming "columns" _is_ a problem.  "autogen" under various
incarnations is about a decade old with widely available public releases
available for over 6 years and it has been officially "GNU" for several
years now.  "columns" is a program incorporated into many templates.
It cannot be renamed without invalidating the templates in use by at least
a few hundred people.  That is not a good idea.  "columns" can certainly
be treated as a "generic" program anyway.  It does what its name suggests
fairly well.  Nearly as well as ``ls -C'' or ``ls -x'' (does not support
different widths for different columns).  By making "columns" have a
separate name, you are invalidating these templates.

Regards, Bruce

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