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Re: Uninstalling Subversion

From: Max Bowsher <maxb1_at_ukf.net>
Date: 2006-08-06 01:08:50 CEST

Fact: 'make uninstall' requires that you preserve the build directory
for when you want to uninstall the package.

As a result, it is too cumbersome to be widely adopted as a general
means of package uninstallation.

As a result, maintainers are reluctant to bother coding uninstall targets.

GNU may mandate it for their own software, uptake of the idea in non-GNU
software is severely limited.

Any user who expects 'make uninstall' to be present as a matter of
course has expectations that correspond poorly to reality.

The careful management of a system over time has become solely the
domain of package managers. The usual demands of a software build system
are to simply place the appropriate files in a nominated directory tree,
be that a live system or a staging directory.

> If make didn't know where it was copying the binaries, it wouldn't have
> been able to perform the operation to begin with.

I'm sorry, I can't resist: 'make' never copies anything! :-)
Before you suggest adding lots of echos to a file into the makefiles:
once libtool gets involved, the makefiles themselves aren't fully aware
of all the filenames they are causing to be installed anyway.

>> 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.
> That is a good point, but it can still be done.

But vanishingly unlikely that it ever will be.


Received on Sun Aug 6 01:09:32 2006

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