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2.7 Finding packages

GSRC provides build recipes for several hundred packages. So, how can you find or discover a package relevant to your needs? Fortunately, the build recipes are described by metadata, which can help you in searching. For example, you can use standard GNU tools such as grep to search the text of the build recipes for key words.

A template script is installed, called gsrc, that provides a simple means for searching for packages via keywords, printing information about a package, and printing its location. Since gsrc is installed to the same location as executables installed by GSRC, if you have set up your environment to use GSRC packages (see Setting your environment), you can use the gsrc script to access GSRC from outside the GSRC directory.

For example, here we search for an editor, discover the program moe, read information about it, and then install it.

$ gsrc search editor
gnu/denemo 1.0.0
 A music notation editor
gnu/ed 1.7
 An implementation of the standard Unix editor
gnu/emacs 24.3
 The extensible, customizable text editor
gnu/global 6.2.8
 A source code tag system
gnu/gnusound 0.7.5
 A multitrack sound editor
gnu/leg 
 Libraries for game engines and game development
gnu/less 451
 A pager
gnu/mc 4.6.1
 A two-paned file manager
gnu/mit-scheme 9.1.1
 An implementation of the Scheme programming language
gnu/moe 1.5
 A simple-to-use text editor
gnu/nano 2.3.2
 A simple text editor
gnu/sed 4.2.2
 A text stream editor
$ gsrc info moe
Name:        Moe
Version:     1.5
URL:         http://www.gnu.org/software/moe
Description:
 GNU Moe is a powerful-but-simple-to-use text editor.  It works in a
 modeless manner, and features an intuitive set of key-bindings that
 assign a degree of "severity" to each key; for example key 
 combinations with the Alt key are for harmless commands like cursor
 movements while combinations with the Control key are for commands
 that will modify the text.  Moe features multiple windows, unlimited
 undo/redo, unlimited line length, global search and replace, and
 more.
Status:      not installed
$ make -C $(gsrc path moe) install

If you view the gsrc script’s code, you will find that it is very simple and, indeed, can be used as a template to be expanded to include the functionality that you desire.

More robust searching can be performed with the file MANIFEST.rec. If you have acquired GSRC by downloading it as a tar.gz archive, this file should be present in the package’s root directory. If you have acquired GSRC by cloning its code repository, you will have to generate this file. Simply navigate to the package’s root directory and enter make manifest; you will want to run this every time you pull updates to the repository. The resulting file is a recfile, which can be queried as a database using GNU Recutils, which must be installed (see recsel in Recutils).


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