[ros-users] ROS_LOCATIONS paths in launch files

Jeremy Leibs leibs at willowgarage.com
Tue Jul 20 00:10:06 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Patrick Bouffard
<bouffard at eecs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> I would have thought that a path that I defined in $ROS_LOCATIONS
> would be usable in a launch file with the find directive i.e.:
> <node pkg=foo name=bar type=bar args="$(find mylocation)/my_file.txt">
> .. however this doesn't seem to work; should I just be using plain old
> environment variables for now, and/or could roslaunch be extended to
> behave the way I'd guessed it might?

For now, ROS_LOCATIONS is only supported by the rosbash toolchain, in
particular, roscd.  Tools like rosinstall and the increasingly
fragmented distribution of packages across the filesystem due to
overlays has furthermore decreased the usefulness of ROS_LOCATIONS.

> I guess another way to put it is, why/where to use ROS_LOCATIONS
> rather than environment variables?

The situation where I used to find it useful was when all of the ros
packages were checked out with a single svn command in a directory
which was not a package.  Then it made sense to want a single target,
e.g,, "roscd pkg" where I could invoke svn up.

Now that stacks are typically checked out on a stack-by-stack basis,
it is rare that you want to cd to any location other than a stack or a
pkg.  We should probably remove ROS_LOCATIONS at some point to
decrease confusion.

> Cheers,
> Pat
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