[spambayes-dev] Names

T. Alexander Popiel popiel at wolfskeep.com
Tue Jul 15 11:51:02 EDT 2003

In message:  <16148.14430.102192.335008 at montanaro.dyndns.org>
             Skip Montanaro <skip at pobox.com> writes:
>    >> Fine by me, but why the sb- prefix?  Is there some clash with
>    >> existing applications?
>    Alex> I don't think the issue is clash with existing applications;
>    Alex> rather, the issue is namespace pollution.  The gist of the
>    Alex> argument is that if we use such generic names, then future people
>    Alex> will be barred from using equally generic names...  but we have no
>    Alex> more right to those names than those other people, so we should
>    Alex> not preemptively take the names.
>Tools like Apache install themselves in their own directory tree.  For
>example, /usr/local/apache/sbin/apachectl instead of
>/usr/local/sbin/apachectl.  That seems a bit cleaner to me.  Most of our
>applications aren't the sort of things you'd run from the command line like
>grep anyway.  They'd be run in the background as daemons or from procmail
>files, so the somewhat cumbersome path wouldn't be a big deal.

This starts to run afoul packaging guidelines for various projects.
For instance, Debian forbids dumping stuff into /usr/local, though
/usr/bin/spambayes/* would be allowed.  Similarly, Solaris tends
toward /opt/spambayes/bin/*.  I don't think there's any good
consensus for handling this sort of thing; having non-polluting
names makes it easier for everyone to do what is "most right" for
whatever system they're repackaging spambayes for.

It's all fairly annoying.

- Alex

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