Presenting fpm at PackagingCon 2021

The event is on November 9-10. Submissions close August 31. It looks like a great opportunity to present fpm.

See http://packaging-con.org/ for more info.

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Any thoughts on what aspect of fpm we would discuss. The topics seem interested in the technical details and possible general application to other projects. We’ve drawn inspiration from other package managers, but I don’t know if there’s something new that fpm brings to the area. Maybe the complexities of detecting the dependencies for compilation order in Fortran?

Right, I don’t think it needs to be super novel in the computer science sense. Here are some ideas:

  • Fortran-specific package manager and build system is interesting in and of itself.
  • That it’s implemented in Fortran is interesting too. This will be a good showcase for Fortran itself as well.
  • Fpm’s technical challenges and how we are (or plan to be) solving them, e.g.:
    • Module dependencies and avoiding name clashes
    • How fpm handles fpm-aware dependencies
    • External modules (fpm-unaware dependencies)
    • Building mixed-language packages and dependencies
  • Plugins
  • How do we plan to grow the ecosystem?
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This looks really interesting, thanks for finding it. Seems like the organization is done by a lot of folk active in the conda ecosystem.

Fortran itself has interesting aspects when packaging it (binary rather than source packaging), like ABI compatibility between versions when linking dynamically or the distribution of module files when working with several compilers. Especially the ABI issues can be a nightmare when packaging Fortran projects, either the version pinning has to be very tight or one links statically with all the drawbacks of rebuilding, bloated artifacts and the license distribution. One the other hand, some Fortran projects have incredible stable APIs over decades, like LAPACK.

I’ve been part of some of the organizing calls for PackagingCon, but didn’t have time to be more involved. Yes, we definitely have to present fpm. More importantly, the goal, as I personally see it for the conference (and that I presented on some of the calls, and other organizers didn’t seem to disagree), is:

  • Talk to other package managers, see what problems they are solving
  • See if there are ways to collaborate
  • Perhaps even actually collaborate on some things, from brainstorming designs (perhaps what metadata the package manager should store) to more tight collaboration, we want to be able to call Conda and Spack from fpm to install depencencies and vice versa. The Julia package manager is also calling Conda (or was), so they have the same issue.

I am sure the organizers have some other goals, but if the above happens, I would consider it a success.

With this in mind, we can submit a talk.

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Just got the confirmation that our abstract is accepted.

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The list of talks is up now: PackagingCon 2021 - a conference for package manager developers and packagers

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Note that registration is not free:

For this reason, we have chosen to sell tickets with a pay-what-you-can pricing model.
Suggested prices
Student/Academic: $20
Professional: $50
Professional, reimbursed by employer: $100

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