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GODI - The O'Caml source distribution

$Id: README.xml 520 2004-10-27 20:02:29Z gerd $

GODI is a distribution of the Objective Caml language as packages that can be automatically built from their sources. GODI does not include pre-compiled binaries, but it is possible to create them, even in packaged form.

GODI is derived from the NetBSD pkgsrc system (which is derived from the FreeBSD port system), and has a similar way of dealing with sources, although not everything is identical.

Basically, GODI is a framework to download, compile, install, and package O'Caml software. This software is not included in GODI, but GODI knows from which Internet sites it can be downloaded. To do so, GODI provides small archives with build instructions, the build.tgz archives. These instructions (basically Makefiles) are dynamically added to the GODI framework, and extend it with the information needed to deal with a certain piece of software.

After the software has been installed, it is always archived as so-called binary packages. The binary packages can be easily transferred to other computers with the same operating system, where they can be added to the local GODI installations without having to rebuild them again.

GODI knows about software dependencies, and automatically builds prerequisites first. Furthermore, GODI can upgrade hierarchies of dependent libraries by rebuilding the libraries in the right order.

GODI has been initiated by Gerd Stolpmann. The "G" in the name means both "Gerd" and "General" at the same time. "ODI" means O'Caml distribution.

Which software can be built and managed by GODI?

Currently, GODI supports:

  • The O'Caml distribution (compilers, runtime system, tools and libraries as distributed)

  • A lot of libraries for O'Caml. One can estimate that 30% of the available high-quality libraries have already been packaged.

  • Some C libraries when the packagers found it useful to include them

  • A small number of applications

How "official" is GODI?

There is no agreement between the GODI project and the O'Caml developers about GODI, it has begun as Gerd's private "recompilation automation" project, and GODI is now seeking support from O'Caml developers and users. There was a lot of positive feedback, e.g. here you can read a positive statement by Xavier Leroy: "There remains a problem of how to make it easy for everyone to install and use these third-party contributions. CPAN managed to do it through standardization on naming conventions, configuration and installation procedures, and a *lot* of discipline from the contributors. We aren't quite at this point with OCaml, although Gerd Stolpmann's GODI is an impressive first step in this direction. Again, it's up to this community to tell whether this is a good approach that should be pursued, e.g. by providing GODI packaging from your own libraries. One cannot just wish there would be a CPAN for OCaml and just wait for us INRIA folks to come up with it overnight." (Full message)

This means: It's you who decide how official GODI is.

Why aren't there pre-compiled packages?

It exceeds the possibilities of the project. Because O'Caml is a compiler, this piece of software is very dependent on the exact versions of the installed libraries; e.g. you cannot move an O'Caml compiler built on Red Hat Linux to a SuSE installation (it is quite likely that the compiler as such runs, but you get problems with symbol differences when the compiled programs are linked). This would mean: We would need a set of pre-compiled packages for every flavour of every operating system, and for every version. Of course, this is beyond the available resources.


On which operating systems does GODI run?

This is one of the questions that have not yet really been answered. I am developing GODI on Linux and Solaris, and I am very sure it runs on most Unix-style operating systems without or only with very few changes. The software GODI bases on is known to be quite portable, especially the BSD make environment, the NetBSD packaging tools, and Objective Caml itself. I would like to hear if somebody gets GODI running on a certain platform, because I cannot test it for platforms I don't have access to.

Here is a (preliminary) list of systems (on which the GODI base system runs, but not necessarily all packages):

  • Linux: Debian 3.0, SuSE 8.1

  • Solaris: Solaris 7, 8

  • FreeBSD: FreeBSD 4.8

  • NetBSD: NetBSD 1.6.2

  • Cygwin: DLL version 1.5.3

  • MacOS X: MacOS X 10.3 (Panther)

  • HP-UX: HP-UX 11i (= 11.11)

GODI does not yet run on Microsoft Windows natively (i.e. without Cygwin DLL). There are some plans to support MinGW, but it is still a long way until then.

Which other software do I need?

This depends on the operating system. In general, you need gcc, and the usual C toolchain (assembler, linker, preprocessor). Other C compilers are not supported. The toolchain may be GNU or non-GNU, depending on the OS (see below).

Furthermore, you need GNU make, GNU gzip/gzcat, and GNU patch (or compatible, like the versions found in BSD systems). bzip2/bzcat is recommended, some packages need it. You have an advantage when you install the GNU versions of nm and objcopy, in particular the -pack option of the ocamlopt compiler will work. This is not required, however, as no package relies on this, but it may be useful for your own software.

You need the standard Unix tools for shell programming and file manipulation.

You may need additional libraries that are not part of GODI. For example, to install the godi-lablgtk package, you need the gtk library. It is recommended to install at least tcl/tk, as some tools of the O'Caml core distribution base on it, e.g. ocamlbrowser. These additional libraries are not necessary for the GODI bootstrap, and can be installed later when demanded.

Special notes for the operating systems:

  • Linux: The Linux distributions are very different in what they install by default. Normally, the Unix tools are all present, and there is nothing to say about gcc and the C toolchain. Many distros package the C header files separately in "dev" packages. Ensure you have these packages installed, at least for libc and for the libraries you want to use.

  • Solaris: Solaris 8 has GNU gzip and GNU patch, Solaris 7 does not have these tools. You can get the missing tools (gcc, gmake, gzip, gpatch) from Solaris 9 is not tested, but I would not expect problems.

  • FreeBSD: Install GNU make from the package collection.

  • NetBSD: Install GNU make from the package collection.

  • Cygwin: Install bc, binutils, bzip2, diffutils, file, fileutils, findutils, gawk, gcc, gdbm, grep, gzip, m4, make, ncurses, patch, patchutils, sed, sh-utils, tar, tcltk, wget.

  • MacOS X: (Seems to work out of the box, but I did not set up the machine where I ran the tests.)

  • HP-UX: You need gcc, gas (GNU assembler), gmake, gzip/gzcat, gpatch.

How do I install GODI?


You need the bootstrap archive godi-bootstrap-<VERSION>.tar.gz (hyperlinks at the end of the text). Unpack it, and run the bootstrap script with the right options, e.g.

gzip -d  godi-bootstrap-<VERSION>.tar.gz
tar xf  godi-bootstrap-<VERSION>.tar
cd godi-bootstrap-<VERSION>
./bootstrap --prefix /home/joe/godi
This means that all GODI software will be installed into /home/joe/godi. (Note that messages are redirected to bootstrap.log.)

After running the bootstrap script, you have the framework, but not yet any of the software you can manage with it. You could now run the godi_build script to install further software, but for your ease there is now a second bootstrap stage automating this.

But first don't forget to add

/home/joe/godi/bin and /home/joe/godi/sbin
to your PATH environment variable, otherwise the scripts and executables will not be found.

Another important fact is that there is now a configuration file, godi.conf, installed in /home/joe/godi/etc. It might be necessary that you edit it when the stage 2 bootstrap script recommends it.

To start this script, do:

This script downloads the latest versions of the build instructions, and it downloads, builds, and installs a minimum set of packages. After it has run, you can use the program godi_console to manage your GODI installation (see below).

It is possible that bootstrap_stage2 complains about problems with GDBM, the GNU database manager. In this case, it is recommended to add the line

to the godi.conf file in /home/joe/godi/etc. Just start bootstrap_stage2 again after you have done this change.

It is not necessary to install GODI as root. Actually, I would not even recommend it, because there is no part that would have advantages from this.

Special notes for Cygwin

  • It is not possible to install GODI onto a network filesystem. Neither it is possible that the bootstrap script is located on such a filesystem. Only local disks are allowed. (The reason is that Cygwin's mkdir does not work properly for this case.) You can, however, create a GODI installation on a local directory /godi on computer A, and use this directory via network from another computer B by creating a symlink from /godi to //A/.../godi such that it points to the same directory. Of course, all installation procedures must be executed on A and never on B.

  • The PATH environment variable must not contain spaces. This practise does not work well for many Unix scripts. For the bootstrap script you must manually ensure this, as it refuses to start when there are spaces. godi_console is a bit more intelligent and simply deletes PATH components that contain spaces. However, this might lead to further problems, e.g. that DLLs are not found. In this case it is recommended to either (1) fix the Windows installation such that important things are not installed under problematic file names, or (2) to create symlinks to these problematic directories and to put the (space-less) symlinks instead of the original names into PATH.

  • Microsoft Windows has stricter filesystem semantics than Unix, especially it often locks files and directories that are not locked by Unix systems in the same situation. For example, it is not possible to delete the current working directory. Of course, GODI deletes a lot of directories when it builds software, and the user should take care not to prevent this by accident (e.g. do "cd /" before starting godi_console). Another problem is that it is not possible to delete executables that are currently running. This is rather annoying (well, not only for GODI, because it is the reason that you must frequently restart the computer when you install programs under Windows), because there are actually packages in GODI that replace themselves. Especially, if you build a new version of godi-tools (containing the program godi_console) the situation arises that the running instance of godi_console would like to replace itself. This is now resolved for the special cases where it is necessary.

Troubleshooting (bootstrap)

Preamble: GODI, and this means both the bootstrap procedure and the final installation, is quite sensitive regarding to environmental influences. The reason is that GODI drives compilers, and these are deeper anchored in the operating system than "normal" software. Furthermore, lots of scripts are used to control the build processes, and these depend more on correct environments than binary software. That means, changing environment variables, or replacing base software of the operating system, may break GODI. It is almost impossible for GODI to improve this situation, because this is caused by the nature of the development environments of the underlying operating systems. -- Anyway, here are some important hints.

The "bootstrap" script writes a log file bootstrap.log containing all the stdout messages. Remember to look into this file when analyzing errors.

The "bootstrap" script cannot be immediately restarted when an error occurs. First the "cleanup" script must have run. (This does not apply to "bootstrap_stage2" which is restartable, and even skips actions that were already successful. Recent versions of "bootstrap" detect the mentioned problem automatically and suggest to run "cleanup".)

Most errors are resulting from missing prerequisite software. Some of the often missing programs are dc, file, m4. GODI is a driver for compiling, so you need also the C compiler gcc and the whole toolchain (as, ld, ar, ranlib). Last but not least you need the header files (ending in .h), often available as "development packages" from your operating system.

If required programs are available, but not found, extend the PATH variable before starting "bootstrap". The bootstrap procedure has some built-in intelligence where to find the right versions of programs for the various OS it knows. This usually works, but in special configurations you might want to have more detailed control. The option --prepend-path of "bootstrap" forces that your PATH has higher precedence than the built-in knowledge where to look for programs. Use --search-path arg to completely override the built-in knowledge, and to use arg as (colon-separated) path where to search for programs.

It is usually not possible to upgrade the operating system while keeping the GODI installation. One should at least recompile all packages.

I have also reports about environment variables confusing GODI, especially PKGDIR and DISTDIR on Gentoo systems. Ensure that these variables are not set before starting the bootstrap, or before starting godi_console. (I hope I can resolve environment issues more systematically in the future.)

The system clock should not go too wrong, because "make" does not like that. If GODI is installed on NFS, the clocks of the sever and the client must be synchronized using ntp. If not, "make" sometimes skips required compilation steps, and the build will be incomplete, resulting in strange errors.

GODI sometimes misses to download files properly ("Checksum error"). In this case, you can recover from the error as follows: Identify the file name from the error message. Look into /home/joe/godi/build/distfiles, and delete the wrong file. Finally restart the failing action.

And a system-wide installation?

I recommend that you create a system user ID for this purpose, e.g. "godi", that is primarily used as owner of the files. You can cross-login as this user if you want to install or deinstall packages.

GODI does not support group-writeable installations properly, and it is unlikely that it ever will.

Installing and deinstalling GODI packages

The GODI console

When the bootstrap (including stage 2) is done, there is a program godi_console allowing you to manage your installation. This is a menu-based application with a simple user interface structured into lots of menus.

You can invoke functions by typing a letter on the keyboard; see the foot lines of the menus displaying which letter is bound to which function. Another way to interact with the program is to enter a number (followed by RETURN), to enter a sub menu.

What can you do with godi_console:

  • Update the build instructions: This is sub menu 1 of the main menu. This function downloads new build instructions, if available. This is usually the first step to update your installation.

  • Select packages for build: This can be done in sub menu 2 of the main menu. There is a list of all available software, and by entering the number of the package you can go to a detailed description. Type then 'b' to select the package.

  • Rebuild packages: Of course, you can also select packages that are already installed. In this case, the old version is removed before the new version is built.

  • Remove packages: This is also possible in the sub menu 2. Go into the sub menu for the package, and press 'r' to select it for removal.

  • Upgrade packages: This is a convenience function; it selects all packages for rebuild for which newer versions are available. (Type 'u' in sub menu 2.) This is usually done after "update".

  • Dependency analysis and the start of installation: Pressing 's' in sub menu 2 performs a dependency analysis, and suggests the next step in the installation process. If the result of the analysis is that all dependencies are fulfilled, the installation (or deinstallation) can start. Otherwise, further packages are added to the selection by godi_console, either for build, rebuild, or removal, and the selection list appears again (adjust the selection, or press again 's' to confirm).

  • Watch the build process: After the installation has started, godi_console monitors the build process. The build messages are printed on the screen, but you can also save them to a file.

Note that godi_console has also a command-line interface, to be used in scripts. There is a manual page explaining it.

How do I install an O'Caml package?

Just for demonstration how simple this usually is:

  • Start godi_console

  • Select the first sub menu by entering 1 and RETURN

  • A lot of messages appear, and the build instructions are updated for the newest version. After that, the main menu appears again.

  • Select the second sub menu by entering 2 and RETURN

  • The list of packages appears. Scroll with 'n' and 'p' up and down (or use the cursor keys). Select your package by entering its number, and press RETURN.

  • Press 'b' to select the package for build.

  • Press 'x' to exit the package dialog. The list of packages is displayed again.

  • Press 's' to do the dependency analysis. Often, further packages are now selected (look for the 'b' flag in the FL column). In this case, press 's' again.

  • A screen is displayed explaining the build plan, i.e. how many packages will be built. Press 'o' to start.

  • Lots of build messages scroll over the screen ...

  • Press 'x' to quit the build process, and exit godi_console.

Is there a command-line tool for installation?

In previous versions of GODI I said "no" to this question, and in very old versions I explained a tool called "godi_build" intended for the command line. These answers are all no longer up to date. There is such a tool, and it is godi_console itself which can also be used on the command-line.

For example, to build the package godi-xstr just type

godi_console perform -build godi-xstr
and all actions are carried out to build or rebuild this package. Of course, everything is done without asking further questions. Because of this, I strongly recommend to first do

godi_console perform -dry-run -build godi-xstr
to have a look at the build plan without executing it. It is also a good idea to first set up the wish list (with "godi_console wish") before executing plans with "godi_console perform -wishes", because godi_console becomes interruptible by this. This means, in case of an error it knows which wishes have already been fulfilled and which are still open, i.e it knows where to continue. (The wish list is actually the column with the "r" and "b" flags in the interactive mode of godi_console.)

There is a manual page explaining the command-line mode of godi_console in detail.

Note that there is still a tool called "godi_build", but it should only be used for bootstrapping. A number of package options have not been implemented in this script, and there are probably lots of errors in it.

How do I invoke the "make framework" directly?

This question is important for packagers, because this is the only way to debug problems.

See the separate README.devel text that should have been installed in the "doc/GODI" directory.

Layout of the "build" directory

  • /home/joe/godi/build/buildfiles/<NAME>-<VERSION>.build.tgz

    These are the archived build instructions. Of course, these are immediately unpacked, and then the directory

    contains the files that control the build process (especially the Makefile).

    Note that the .tgz archive is no longer used after extraction, so you can remove it to free disk space (they are very small, however).

  • /home/joe/godi/build/distfiles

    These are the downloaded sources as they are distributed by their authors.

  • /home/joe/godi/build/packages/All

    The result of a package installation is not only that the files of the software are put into their places, but that additionally a binary package has been created. More or less, all the files have been archived and put into a compressed tar archive, plus some meta data. The binary packages can be found in build/packages/All.


There are now a number of "conf" packages: conf-gdbm, conf-x11, conf-tcltk, conf-pcre.

These packages configure where system libraries can be found. For example, conf-x11 tries to find the X11 tree. For all of these packages it is possible to override the corresponding compiler switches by adding options to godi.conf. (godi_console allows you to set these options in a very convenient way; press 'c' in the package menu.)

For example, the package godi-ocaml-graphics (containing the Graphics library) requires that conf-x11 is installed first. conf-x11 searches the X11 options, and saves them into a file, where godi-ocaml-graphics expects them. The consequence is that changes of godi.conf do not have an immediate effect on the build of godi-ocaml-graphics, because this package reads its configuration from the file created by conf-x11; this package must be built again to make the change effective. I hope you never run into such a trap, because I think the conf-* packages can only be created for configurations that will work (they should fail to build otherwise).

The O'Caml system has been divided up into four GODI packages:

  • godi-ocaml-src:

    Downloads the source code, configures it, and makes it available to other packages.

  • godi-ocaml:

    This pkg creates the runtime system, and the compilers.

  • godi-ocaml-graphics:

    The graphics library (requires X Windows)

  • godi-ocaml-labltk:

    The labltk library (including ocamlbrowser)

If you want to change one of the _basic_ O'Caml options, you have to do that for godi-ocaml-src, and have to rebuild the other packages individually (e.g. if you change which C compiler is used).

How do I update my installation?

With godi_console, this is very simple:

  • Start godi_console

  • Select the first sub menu by entering 1 and RETURN

  • A lot of messages appear, and the build instructions are updated for the newest version. After that, the main menu appears again.

  • Select the second sub menu by entering 2 and RETURN

  • The list of packages appears. Just press 'u' and confirm the following question ('o'). Now all packages are selected for which new versions are available.

  • Press 's' to do the dependency analysis. Often, further packages are now selected (look for the 'b' flag in the FL column). In this case, press 's' again.

  • A screen is displayed explaining the build plan, i.e. how many packages will be built. Press 'o' to start.

  • Lots of build messages scroll over the screen ...

  • Press 'x' to quit the build process, and exit godi_console.

Note that upgrades often select many packages because of dependencies, because all _dependent_ packages are also rebuilt if a prerequisite package is upgraded!

How do I upgrade to the newest O'Caml system?

The godi.conf variable GODI_SECTION determines which section of the available packages is selected. The section name is normally the version number of the O'Caml system, e.g. GODI_SECTION=3.07. By changing the section name, you can upgrade to a newer O'Caml version (when GODI provides such a version...).

It is a good idea to save your old binary packages first, because some of them will be overwritten. (Because libraries with the same version numbers may be part of several sections.)

Note that you can have several GODI installations, provided that only one installation is part of your PATH variable. (Actually, GODI looks up itself by running the command godi_confdir which outputs the absolute path of the etc directory with the godi.conf file.)

How do I manage the binary packages?

(Management of binary packages is not yet supported by godi_console, so the following is still the only possibility.)

You can find out which packages are installed by running

godi_info -a
This command can also be used to get detailed information about packages (see man godi_info).

You can delete packages by running

godi_delete <packagename>
If the package cannot be deleted because of dependencies, do not use the -f (force) option, because this creates a mess. Better also delete the dependent packages with the -r option. (Or use godi_console, as it is already possible to remove packages.)

You can add packages by running

godi_add <packagefile>.tgz
All of these commands have manual pages.

These commands are derived from the pkg_* commands of NetBSD, and are very similar. The -F option does not work, however, because there is no file index that would allow fast lookup of files.

What is the directory layout of the O'Caml installation?

We have (ASCII art):

/home/joe/godi = <prefix>
  +- etc
  |  configuration files, e.g. godi.conf, findlib.conf, ld.conf
  +- bin
  |  binaries for normal applications, and development
  +- sbin
  |  binaries for GODI management and administrative tasks
  +- man
  |  manual pages
  +- doc
  |  |
  |  +- <package name>
  |  |  documentation for a package
  |  |
  |  +- cgi-bin
  |  |  CGI programs for documentation
  |  |
  |  +- GODI
  |     documentation for GODI itself
  +- lib
     C libraries, plus:
     +- ocaml
     |  |
     |  +- std-lib
     |  |  O'Caml standard library, "the big mess"
     |  +- pkg-lib
     |  |  Findlib-managed libraries installed with GODI
     |  +- site-lib
     |  |  Findlib-managed libraries manually installed
     |  +- compiler-lib
     |     some .cmi files of the O'Caml compilers
     +- godi
        +- saved-src
           +- ocaml.tar.gz
              The archived sources of O'Caml, after configuration
              (to apply patches)
There are some more directories not depictured here, but they are either standard Unix, or have to do with special software (e.g. share/mk is required by bmake).

Another omitted directory is "build", used for the build framework (see above).

Troubleshooting (installing packages)

A system library is not found

Often, there is a "conf" package for the system library, e.g. conf-pcre configures where libpcre is installed. The "conf" packages have some built-in intelligence where to search for system libraries. Of course, these packages cannot look into every directory of the system, and it is also possible that they find the wrong version of the library (if you have installed several versions). So the question is how to exactly specify where to expect a system library.

For every library there are options for godi.conf. By setting them, the search algorithm of the "conf" package is modified such that a certain location is tried before all others. From godi_console, you can set these options in the configure dialog (after you have selected a certain package of the list, type 'c' to enter this dialog). This dialog explains which options are available for the package, and allows you to change them.

For example, for conf-pcre the configure dialog outputs:

[ 1]         GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE = no
[ 2]          GODI_PCRE_INCDIR =
[ 3]          GODI_PCRE_LIBDIR =

Build message:
Available options for godi.conf:

- GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE: Whether to build GODI's version of pcre
  (yes/no). Defaults to "no".

- GODI_PCRE_INCDIR: Where pcre.h can be found. Set this option
  if GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE=no, and the already installed PCRE
  library is not found.

- GODI_PCRE_LIBDIR: Where libpcre can be found. Set this option
  if GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE=no, and the already installed PCRE
  library is not found."
You have the option to set GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE to "yes", and to use the version of libpcre that is distributed with GODI. In this case, you need not to set the other variables, because GODI knows where to search its own components. If you leave GODI_BASEPKG_PCRE="no", it is expected that libpcre is already installed somewhere. You can try whether GODI can find this location: Just press 't' to test this. If this fails, you must set GODI_PCRE_INCDIR and GODI_PCRE_LIBDIR to the directories where pcre.h and are installed, respectively. Test your options before you leave the configure dialog.

Pitfall: Sometimes not the directories need to be entered, but the flags for the C compiler (e.g. -I/directory, -L/directory). This is usally indicated in the build message.

It is also possible to modify the search algorithm of the "conf" packages globally. This is interesting if you have your private location where add-on libraries are installed, and you do not want to configure this location again for every package. The variable SEARCH_LIBS specifies the locations where to search. If you set it in godi.conf, e.g.

your locations are prepended to the search path. If you have several such locations, use this syntax:

The default path includes /usr, /usr/local, /usr/pkg, /opt/pkg, /opt/sfw, /sw, and /cw. (If this path should be extended because an operating system or software distribution installs libraries at another location, please tell me.)

The "conf" packages, once configured and installed, save the successful options into another file, such that further changes of godi.conf do not have any effect. If it becomes necessary to change library options again, you must rebuild the "conf" package first.

Why is the system-wide PCRE library not accepted?

Because it is too old. godi-pcre needs at least PCRE 4.0.

I am behind a firewall. How do I enforce passive FTP/a proxy?

Passive FTP is enabled by default.

To use a proxy, you need to set the environment variables ftp_proxy and http_proxy, e.g.

export ftp_proxy http_proxy
These variable must be set in the environment , not in godi.conf.

More Questions

What does it mean when a package is dependent on another package?

Currently, GODI knows two kinds of dependencies: strict dependencies, and build dependencies. A dependency enforces that another package is installed when a package is used (strict case), or when it is built.

This sounds well-known, but note that there are subtle differences to other package managers that focus on software written in the C language. This is better explained by an example: assume there are libraries A and B, and that B depends strictly on A. It is the normal case that the dependencies between libraries are strict, because you cannot use B without A (even though O'Caml libraries are static).

The first difference is the strict version control. For example, B might demand that the version of A is at least 1.0. For C-language software, this requirement is interpreted both for the build time and for the run time of the library. This means that you can replace version 1.0 by 1.0.1 without any trouble, just install it. For O'Caml, however, this is a very rare case. The smallest change in the interfaces of libraries cause that they become incompatible, and that means that you must rebuild B if you upgrade A from 1.0 to 1.0.1. Because of this, a requirement like A>=1.0 is automatically transformed to A=1.0 (or whatever version is found) for the installed library.

The next difference is a consequence of the first: If you upgrade a library like A, you must recompile all dependent libraries like B. Because this happens frequently, GODI supports this explictly: If you select a package in godi_console for rebuild, all dependent packages are selected, too, after you have typed 's'.

Note that only strict dependencies are affected by this rule, not build dependencies.

The algorithm GODI uses for dependency analysis is quite complex, because it checks dependencies both in the direction of missing or bad requirements, and in the direction of successors that use a package.

Why isn't there a GUI for godi_console?

There is a very good reason why godi_console is a text application: you don't need working graphics libraries to get GODI running. Furthermore, there are situations where a text application has advantages over a GUI application, e.g. when the network has too little bandwidth or too big latency, or when the target system does not have a working X installation (think of network servers or mobile devices).

Of course, this only explains why the text version of godi_console has higher priority than the GUI version. The design of godi_console includes the option of a later GUI version, but nobody has yet written the missing Miniui_labl(g)tk module we would need.

How do I update GODI?

In recent releases, all components of GODI are installed as packages, and because of this, it is possible to update the components individually without having to reinstall GODI. The components have the package names "godi-core-XXX"; also "godi-tools" should be considered as such a component because it contains godi_console.

Not for all of these components there are upgrades available.

How does GODI work?

We have now three layers: The O'Caml part (godi_console and the underlying godi-pkg library) which controls selection and removal of packages, and performs the dependency analysis. Below of this you find the "make framework". It has two purposes: It is a kind of database of the available source packages, and it controls the details of the build and installation procedures. The "make framework" is invoked by the godi_make command (which is BSD make) in the build directories of the individual packages. One can query package details, and one can start the package builds. The lowest layer are the package tools for the binary packages (godi_add, godi_create etc.).

godi_console gathers information about installed packages and about source packages (the first by looking into the "db" directory; the latter by parsing Makefiles). It contains an algorithm to compute a build plan: which packages must first be removed, and which must then be (re)built. The plan is finally executed by doing the right godi_make invocations, and let the "make framework" do the details.

The task of the "make framework" is to build and install a single package (note that all dependency handling has been removed from it). First, the sources are fetched from the FTP server, next, patches are applied if necessary. The package is configured, and after that, the Makefile included in the distributed sources is invoked. After the build, the package is installed (into its final location, we don't support staged installations yet), and a binary package is built.

See also the file Packages.txt for the original NetBSD documentation.

See also doc/GODI/README.devel.


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