[ros-users] mr as a substitute for rosinstall

Ken Conley kwc at willowgarage.com
Fri Nov 18 18:20:08 UTC 2011

Hi Jochen,

Thanks for pointing out mr.  In your e-mail you discussed the ease
with which it can be installed, but I don't see much argument as to
why you are proposing a switch to mr and would appreciate hearing it,
as you are probably the expert on this list.

I have poked around with it a little bit (it has an easy-to-install
brew package).  mr makes some questionable but powerful design
decisions (i.e. the fact that it is basically shell aliases) that, as
far as I can tell, would give more control over hard-to-wrangle
systems like Git at the cost of being opaque about what is being done.
 It also adds in some extra functionality, like local commits.  But
this is basically just my quick reaction glancing over the man page (I
can't find an online reference).

The main issue I see is that mr doesn't handle the case that
rosinstall was built for, which is handling a ROS environment (i.e.
the setup.sh file is critical).  So I assume you are proposing
wrapping or extending mr in some way to do this?

Also, while there is much discussion regarding rosinstall
enhancements, the rosws discussions and many of the desired
enhancements in Thibault's initial REP 110 [1] seem orthogonal to mr
(in the same way they are orthogonal to rosinstall).  For those
enhancements, it then seems to be a question of manipulating
rosinstall or mrconfig files.

 - Ken

[1]: http://ros.org/reps/rep-0110.html "Ideas for rosinstall commands
that were dropped for this REP, but may become interesting later"

On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM, Jochen Sprickerhof
<ros-users at jochen.sprickerhof.de> wrote:
> Hi ROS community,
> lately there has been some discussion on improving rosinstall. I would
> propose to something completely different and replace it with mr [1]. It
> serves as a common interface to most VCS, is easy extendible and
> included in Debian and Ubuntu since ages.
> mr provides ways to clone multiple repositories into a defined directory
> layout as well as updating all repos and buffering commits. For
> conversion, we could convert rosinstall files into mrconfig files quite
> easy or even add support for them as an extension.
> The only drawback is, that it's written in perl, which is available in
> Apple and most Linux by default but not on Windows (but the same goes
> for rosinstall with python).
> Comments, ideas and implementations welcome.
> Cheers,
> Martin and Jochen
> [1] http://kitenet.net/~joey/code/mr/
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