RFC: Loading packages at startup

Paul Gilbert pgilbert@bank-banque-canada.ca
Tue, 22 Oct 2002 11:52:40 -0400

"(Ted Harding)" wrote:

> ... so that if the user invoked a function which
> had been used in a previous session, packages needed would be loaded

Am I correct in thinking the main need for this is for object
definitions that require a package, rather than for methods? I have the
impression that putting requires() in a function works fairly well. Or
is it needed because methods for the objects need to be available?

> A comment from a practical user's viewpoint. I'm not sure of the value
> of having this happen automatically. 

I wonder about this too. Especially since I seem to spend much more time
debugging code than I do actually using it. Should I be worrying about
something similar to the mixed blessing of .a and .so executables? What
happens when packages are updated, moved to new locations (as systems
administrators are prone to do), or things are moved (among packages or
in/out of base)? What happens when I want the version of a package I am
trying to debug, not the one that is installed? Should there be a
warning if the signature on a package does not match the one originally

I guess I would like to understand that this is a step forward in
software design, not simply a minor user convenience (and possibly a
headache for developers)? Sorry if I am a bit slow on some of these

Paul Gilbert
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