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.