[osgeo4w-dev] Current filesystem tree sucks!

Mateusz Loskot mateusz at loskot.net
Fri Sep 10 20:21:34 EDT 2010


I'd like kindly ask the OSGeo4W Team to consider
redesigning the filesystem tree configuration
and distinguish physical representation from, let's call it,
runtime configuration.


It's wonderful, the OSGeo4W supports hosting of various versions of the
same software, like GDAL.
It's far from being wonderful, each version physically lives in it's own

I'm referring here mainly to organisation of GDAL packages, but I assume
similar approach would apply to other software.

>From perspective of developer who is interested mainly in /include and
/lib subtrees, it is a pain in the arse to have versions scattered
around different folders what effectively prevents easy discoverability.

I understand it's technically difficult or impossible to host binaries
or headers of all versions in single directory, but there is a solution.
Shortly, I propose solution similar to Debian's update-alternatives.

The solution assumes:

1) user is interested in linking to or running only one version of
software at time, e.g. GDAL stable.

2) all files of version configured to use in particular time live
in unified filesystem: $OSGEO_HOME/bin, $OSGEO_HOME/lib, $OSGEO_HOME/include

3) there are no trees like $OSGEO_HOME/apps or similar animals that just

The solution procedure:

1) User checks installed versions of GDAL:

update-alternatives.bat --list gdal

(currently configured version is marked in listing,
asterix next to name)

2) User configures 1.7.0 as selected for linking/runtime:

update-alternatives.bat --install gdal-1.7.0

3) update-alternatives.bat performs:

a) disables current version removing all files
b) enabling gdal-1.7.0 copying all files from local cache
c) no need to update PATH or any other OSGeo4W environment.

Shortly, my message is: please, keep the filesystem tree a) unified
and b) constant.

What you think?
Should I ticket?

Best regards,
Mateusz Loskot, http://mateusz.loskot.net
Charter Member of OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

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