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Re: Uninstalling Subversion

From: Max Bowsher <maxb1_at_ukf.net>
Date: 2006-08-06 00:25:43 CEST

Kip Warner wrote:
> On Sat, 2006-05-08 at 22:51 +0100, Max Bowsher wrote:
>> Kip Warner wrote:
>>> I checked the mailing list, and unless I am mistaken, there is no
>>> uninstall target in the makefile...
>> Indeed. An 'uninstall' target is far from standard.
>>> I would like to uninstall Subversion when 1.4 moves from branch to tag
>>> officially, but I can't seem to do this? There are too many files to
>>> track manually.
>> That's a matter of opinion, but there are quite a few, yes.
>> On the other hand, searching for filenames containing 'svn' or
>> 'subversion' gets you most (all?) of them.
>>> I configured and built it myself, so it isn't as simple as using apt or
>>> rpm.
>>> Is there some script or some way of removing it?
>> Delete all the files manually.
>>> If not, this should surely be noted first in the INSTALL before
>>> people even begin to compile.
>> Why do you think so? This is hardly a matter in which Subversion is
>> exceptional. Rather, it is the common case for source installations.
>> Max.
> Hey Max,
> If anything, it is that last thought that is certainly a matter of
> opinion. "uninstall" is an intuitive target, just like "all" and
> "install" as well.

It is? Personally, I think uninstall targets are silly, because I am
almost certain to have delete the build directory of something by the
time I am likely to want to uninstall it.

> A piece of software as complex as subversion should
> have a standard means of removal, just like any other piece of software.
> The fact that we are dealing with just the source code is hardly any
> excuse.

My impression is that Subversion doesn't need to excuse itself, since
the world at large seems to have come to the consensus that
uninstallation is the role of package managers and similar, not build

> Having no efficient way to remove it is dangerous.

"Potentially messy", I'll accept. But "dangerous"?

> Moreover, I
> am not the first person to have made note of this on the mailing list.

And I would argue that you and all previous people noting this simply
need to take note of the general reality that source installations do
not track their installed files.

> As for deleting all the files manually, note that you had to tell me
> that and, unlike an intuitive approach like an "uninstall" target,
> people aren't going to suspect that that was an option unless they ask
> here.

People aren't going aren't going to realize that deleting stuff is a
possible way to get rid of stuff? Of course they are. They just balk at
the complexity.

> Also, searching for svn or subversion is not mentioned in INSTALL. What
> is mentioned, however, under the heading of "Building the Latest Source
> under Unix" (but not "Building from a Tarball or RPM") is that we must
> remove libsvn, libapr, libexpat, and libneon.

Certainly, but that part of INSTALL is not concerned with uninstalling
Subversion, merely with getting potentially problematic libraries out of
the way.

Bottom line is: writing a sane 'make uninstall' for Subversion is a
vastly non-trivial undertaking (not least because you would first have
to go get a 'make uninstall' added to apr, apr-util and neon) that I
doubt anyone will ever feel sufficiently motivated to do it.


Received on Sun Aug 6 00:26:25 2006

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