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Package facets and variants
Traditionally, packaging systems have placed optional components
of a package in separate packages, and established conventions
for naming such components, such as -localization-locale,
-devel, -doc, etc. This method of ad-hoc decomposition
makes it more difficult for GUI programs to offer the appropriate
choices when selecting components, makes the introduction of new
optional components difficult and makes installing documentation
after the fact a painful process.
Packaging options also exist which are mutually exclusive; the typical
example is which architecture the package supports. One cannot select
both sparc and x86, since the two architecture's files intersect or
collide. Other examples include debug vs non-debug binaries, and
global vs nonglobal zones.
In pkg(5), options that may be selected or not selected, such as various
locales, documentation, etc., are referred to as facets. Options which
are mutually exclusive are called variants. Both variants and facets
appear as tags on IPS actions, and result in the action being
selected or de-selected for installation. Some examples are:
facet.locale.* true, false
facet.doc.man true, false
facet.doc true, false
facet.devel.* true, false
variant.arch sparc, i386, zos
variant.debug.* true, false
An action that is tagged w/ a facet or variant that is not selected
will be automatically excluded; actions w/o facets or variants are
always included. A single action may have multiple facet and variant
tags; an example would be an architecture-specific header file that's
used by developers:
file 8e7247b269fd116345abbf1aa9000a3d81ed871b chash=1fe53e8e2d0ad25bae13e1fd622c50397a2389ce group=bin mode=0644 owner=root path=usr/include/sys/regset.h variant.arch=x86 facet.devel.headers=true pkg.csize=4002 pkg.size=12457
This implies that facets and variants are evaluated ANDed together;
if any of the variant tags do not match, the action is not installed.
On the other hand, the facet tags are OR'd together; if any of the
facets match the action is installed.
Facets and variants are tags, and as such can initially be
set on any action, including dependencies, etc. This can make
testing problematic, however. To simplify matters, variants and
facets are set at the image level. Package developers desiring
fine grained control of their componentry are advised to use
unique facet tags.
In order to simplify grouping of facets, wildcarding is supported
when setting facets, but not variants. For example,
facet.doc.* matches facet.doc.man, facet.doc.info and facet.doc.html.
For ease of installation and backwards compatibility, facets that
are unspecified in the image are automatically included; for the
same reasons, any variant matching the name variant.debug.* is
automatically set to false. When multiple image facet patterns
match, the longest match is selected. For example, the image
Actions marked w/ facet.locale.de would match facet.locale.*
and thus not be installed, but actions matching facet.locale.en_US(utf8)
would match both patterns; since facet.locale.en_US(utf8) is
longer than facet.locale.* that logic would prevail. Note that
exact matches are always preferred.
A more useful example would be installing the french locale as
spoken in France. This consists of files tagged
facet.locale.fr, which tags files which should be installed for all
facet.locale.fr_FR, which is for France in particular,
facet.locale.fr_CA, which is for Canada.
Setting the following facets insures this selection:
facet.locale.* false # install only locales we specify
Changing either variants or facets for an installed image
effectively causes re-evaluation of the actions in the installed
packages, and may or may not be done live depending on the impact
of the change.
Because of the need to select the appropriate variant types prior to
installation or parsing manifests, only variant.debug.* variants can
used with pkg(5) without making explicit changes to the source
code. Developers are encourged to design their components not to
intersect in the filesystem so that facets may be used rather than
Proposed facets and variants in initial implementation:
Name default comments
facet.* true implements default "all facets are included"
facet.locale.* true should be set to false if individual locales are selected
variant.arch one of sparc, i386 as set by platform code
variant.opensolaris.zone either global or nonglobal as set by image type