arch, was Re: SourceForge has drifted away

MJ Ray markj at
Wed Aug 14 23:05:52 UTC 2002

Werner Koch <wk at> wrote:
> I had a quick look at the sources today (sid: apt-get source arch) and
> I concluded that I won't look again at it.

Harsh.  No project is ever rescued?

> The problem I have with arch is that Tom seems to roll his own thing all
> over the place.

What parts in particular did you spot and what other software should they be
replaced with?  The actual system seems to work fairly well in practice,
although I have managed to break it once when being deliberately evil to it.

Of course, a problem I have with svn is that it seems to depend on lumps of
Apache and require use of Apache on the repository host.  No happy medium,

> The configuration system is more than strange for a GNU hacker

I think it's not ideal, but no worse than its competitors in the field.  CVS
uses a mix of command-lines, environment variables and files.  arch takes
one stance of using command lines every time (which wouldn't be my choice). 
PRCS holds the other stance of using files and variables every time, as far
as I can tell.

Is there a particular "GNU Way" to do configuration, then?

> hundreds of deeply nested directories, his own C library and far too many
> shell skripts.

Did you really mean "skripts" as in "skript kiddie"?  That seems, erm,
an "odd" claim.

If not, where there is a performance benefit, some parts have been converted
to C, I think, which may be where the C library came from...


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