ports-system priorities rant (Re: sysutils/cfs)

Greg Byshenk freebsd at byshenk.net
Thu Sep 8 08:56:52 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 08:15:04PM -0400, Mikhail T. wrote:
> On -10.01.-28163 14:59, Doug Barton wrote:

> >Non sequitur. The large number of ports that we support IS a feature. 
> >However, it's also a pretty big maintenance burden. Especially when you 
> >consider the number of those ports that are either actually or effectively 
> >unmaintained.
> Support? What support? Can I call someone and have a solution to a problem? 
> Some PRs remain open for years and any attempts to escalate are met with 
> "patches welcome" -- I've been on both sides myself :-)
> We do not offer support, make no promises of such and offer neither 
> guarantees nor SLAs. What we do offer is: "THERE IS A PORT OF IT". If there 
> is a piece of software out there, chances are, it is ported to FreeBSD. 
> Even if the existing port is imperfect, it is a starting point for 
> somebody, who needs that software on their system.
> With every port removed, that promise wears thinner and thinner...

I'm not a developer, but it strikes me that the above hits at the
core of the disagreement.

For many people, what "THERE IS A PORT OF IT" actually -means- is
that the user can go to ports and install a -working- version of
the software, not merley that there is something called 'IT'
somewhere in the ports tree that may or may not work.

And, if I'm not mistaken, this is also what 'support' means in the
context of ports. No, of course there is no helpdesk you can call.
But just as with the 'supported hardware' list, 'supported' means
that the team will do its best to ensure that things actually work.

greg byshenk  -  gbyshenk at byshenk.net  -  Leiden, NL

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