Dependency or a port on private header files of Tcl

Daniel J. Luke dluke at
Fri Aug 12 15:37:02 PDT 2011

On Aug 12, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
> We have many other ports doing this: downloading and extracting their own copy of Tcl just to get at the private headers. It seems ludicrous. We never remember to update those ports when we update Tcl either, so every port downloads a different version of the Tcl distfile. That can't be good. Even if we remember to update the version, the distfile is downloaded multiple times (and mirrored multiple times), unless we remember to set the port to share tcl's dist_subdir.

I'm no expert on tcl or any ports that would use the private headers. I can imagine that there might need to be some coordination occasionally (as new private headers could very well break the build of an individual port).

> If so much other software uses Tcl's private headers, they're not particularly private IMHO.

I imagine that they're private from the perspective of the developers of tcl (as in they feel free to change things that would break any software that depended on them with any release).

> I was going to suggest the Tcl port just always install the private headers. I like your idea for a tcl-privateheaders port though; that could be a good solution.

I think in the past we had the tcl port install its private headers and that caused some build problems for other software (I can't remember the exact issue). Having a privateheaders port might cause the same issue (depending on where they were installed). It might alternatively make sense for there to be a portgroup to pull the current tcl private headers and put them somewhere for an individual port to build against (assuming that nothing needs them installed to actually run).

Daniel J. Luke                                                                   
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