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Re: [ledgersmb-devel] Setting a policy for our dependencies
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Re: [ledgersmb-devel] Setting a policy for our dependencies

As a couple notes, I would add the following expansions to this.

"Allow the widest possible version range on any module, disallowing individual malfunctioning versions to further extend the range"

I think we are better off documenting bugs in misbehaving versions of modules and perhaps offering a module check utility rather than disallowing certain versions of modules.  I say this for two reasons:

1.  Managing this list is annoying and deciding when to block a specific version of a module is going to be an annoying and political decision, and
2.  A block on a module version will not prevent someone who has an older version of the module from upgrading to a blocked version since it is an install-time check and another piece of software could require a newer version and thus break the install-time check.

So I would suggest deciding required versions by first-supported version and up, and providing a tool or just documentation for checking for other problems in the mean time.

Secondly I would like to suggest that a focus on moving things to CPAN and breaking the application into components for better testability.

"Require as few a possible modules in the expanded dependency tree (prefer modules as direct dependencies which are already depended on implicitly)"

Additionally I think that when we spin things off we should shoot for modules which are simple in interface, within a year or two will likely be pretty close to bug free and unlikely to require dramatic modifications, and therefore keep spin-offs throttled so they do not cause undue chaos for packagers.

" Not depend directly on modules which have overlapping functionalities"

Big caveat here is that some modules that are used *because* they are overlapping might be in a different position.  Moo/Moose is a good example and both are widely used enough that there is no harm in using Moo instead of Moose in spun-off modules.  However we still have some old paradigms in the code that need to be cleaned up and we should also focus on this.

"Not require modules which only provide nice-to-have functionality"

Also, while I am happy to see optional modules used to provide nice-to-have functionality it is worth noting that there are two things that need to be guarded against here.  The first are extra dependencies.  The second is extra code complexity that comes with adding such options.  I would say that both need to be justified before we should allow them and where we do allow them we should think about how to set up proper interfaces so we don't have lots of conditional module handling everywhere.

"Group feature dependencies into their respective features as much as possible (so as to not require them for a more basic installation)"

A corollary here might be that long-run a lot of the application today should be relegated to optional features as we go forward.  If someone doesn't need inventory tracking, why install it?  If one doesn't need more than GL, customers, vendors, and basic reporting, why install more than that?

Of course we aren't there yet but I would suggest that a forward-thinking view of dependencies we might want to think about it not only regarding the dependency problems we encounter with maintaining and working on the current code but also in the question of how modularised and loosely coupled we may want the code to be in the future.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

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