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Re: [MirageOS-devel] Random thought for an OPAM feature

On 4 Jun 2015, at 03:34, Richard Mortier <richard.mortier@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I think what I'm really saying is: a lightweight way to request a
> consistent set of packages without needing to setup a dev opam repo.
> Date seemed a reasonable way to index into that as I can usually
> remember approximately the last time it worked (certainly better than
> I can remember a set of package versions). But perhaps the existing
> mechanism can have this built on top -- I guess ideally some command
> that started from a list of seed packages, extracted all the deps at a
> particular point in time, extracted the commit-refs for those packages
> at that time, and then pinned to those commit-refs would achieve
> this...?

I agree this feature would be very useful. Date is a reasonable way, but
it would be better to use it to generate a manifest of package revisions
and store that instead.  I.e. the output of "opam install <foo> --show-actions"
that tells you precisely what would be installed, except that you also
want to see the full dependency tree.

> There are times when it's useful to have as-yet-unreleased
> packages/features available without wanting to be on the bleeding edge
> of everything; or at least to have a convenient way to pull back from
> the bleeding edge temporarily.

Yeah. I think this should be possible to build as an OPAM plugin just by
querying the package db.  In Xen, I did something similar in 2007 with a
'manifest.hg' which collected together a forest of revisions from the
150 Mercurial repositories that formed the full XenServer distribution.
We need something similar here now, with the ability to generate a
precise dependency manifest for a mirage-app without doing so manually.

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