The value in a mailing list

In June of 2008 there was a small stink on the Crux mailing list, because a little program called pinentry was refusing to build. It was dragging in dependencies from the xorg group, and people using programs that depended on gnupg were suddenly drawing in a mess of X-related packages.

For most people that wouldn’t matter, but for the original author it seemed ridiculous. In that case, it was a server running ketchup, and I think I can sympathize. Or at least, for a desktop machine running only console programs, it seems equally ridiculous.

And that’s the bracket I found myself in this evening when I wanted to install gnupg, and suddenly I lacked requisite dependences because of the trickle-down through pinentry. It bounced around in my brain for a little bit, before I said, “Wasn’t there a ruckus about this on the mailing list once … ?”

And sure enough, I rifled through my old mailing list updates, and there it was, along with a link to a divergent Pkgfile that didn’t rely on X software. And so that’s what I’m building now.

The moral of the story: Subscribe to the mailing list of your choice. Even if you never contribute to it, and even if you don’t read it in detail, it’s another valuable resource.

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2 Responses to “The value in a mailing list”


  1. 1 armornick 2009/11/29 at 4:00 AM

    I can’t help but wondering, and consequently asking, what pinentry does that requires x.org?

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but I’m too lazy to google it today ;) .

  2. 2 Tilman 2009/11/29 at 4:17 AM

    The pinentry package comes with GUIs written in GTK and Qt (maybe more?).
    Not sure why it doesn’t just disable them if libx11 is missing. Maybe it even does and the CRUX port just does something bad[tm].


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