[OpenIndiana-discuss] Namespace management and symlinks in /usr

Udo Grabowski (IMK) udo.grabowski at kit.edu
Wed Oct 17 21:52:58 UTC 2012

On 10/17/12 11:21 PM, Reginald Beardsley wrote:
> --- On Wed, 10/17/12, James Carlson <carlsonj at workingcode.com> wrote:
>> ...
>> Intentionally introduced set of links that aid in
>> compatibility and that
>> are put in place by the designer of the system (and that
>> hopefully
>> disappear at some point in the future when no longer useful)
>> == good.
>> ...
> We have similar silliness w/ /usr/X11 being a tree of links pointing to /usr.
 > Again, setting the default PATH properly in the system files is much 

This is present because of a lot of software having these
pathes compiled in (especially for libraries, resource files,
truss your favourite package to see these references), PATH does
not help here at all. In fact, I would instead raise
the question why in the world everything is now put into /usr/bin,
/usr/X11/bin was a perfect place for X11 applications. That move
made all these links necessary for not breaking compatibility
with existing software (although not all of that is used by
software). For some older software I had even to crosslink deeper
into the X tree (/usr/X/lib/X11/... and other weirdos) for resource
files location, the X-world is not standardized well in this regard,
and changes over time, and not all software used in the real world
is delivered by OI/SFE.

> I raised this because
> find -L /usr -type l -print
> produces a list w/ 10 cycles and 132 dangling links.
 > That is broken by any standard.

Indeed this stuff should be reported as a OI bug
(note: cycles or recursions are often produced when a
symlink links to ./, so they sometimes appear regularly
when setting a compatibility link for a level cutoff).

And just to clarify, I did not put any links into OI, and
did not demand them, I was just commenting that I think
that most of them are there at the right time for some
period yet to be defined, and gradually can vanish as people
adapt. Regular obsolescence head-ups with deadlines in the release
notes would help to smoothen such a transit.
Dr.Udo Grabowski    Inst.f.Meteorology a.Climate Research IMK-ASF-SAT
www-imk.fzk.de/asf/sat/grabowski/ www.imk-asf.kit.edu/english/sat.php
KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology            http://www.kit.edu
Postfach 3640,76021 Karlsruhe,Germany  T:(+49)721 608-26026 F:-926026

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