Please do not deprecate ports-mgmt/synth and lang/gcc6-aux

From: Bojan Petrovic <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2022 22:12:51 UTC
Hello everyone,

Is it possible to revert the decision to deprecate Synth and gcc6-aux

As a Synth user, I think it is a very well engineered and useful port
management tool, and since it is still actively maintained, I believe
that the net loss for Synth users could be greater than what the port
maintainers would gain.

Synth hasn't been deprecated on it's own merit, but as a collateral
damage of the deprecation of gcc6-aux. The reasons for deprecating
gcc6-aux mentioned in the commit are that it's a) old and end-of-life,
b) broken and c) unmaintained. I wish to believe that none of these
was a sufficient reason for deprecation but I understand if someone 
took these factors together as sufficient for deprecation.

a) I believe a lot of other useful software in FreeBSD ports tree is
effectively end-of-life, but that software is still present as it
provides a lot of value to the users. gcc6-aux is in a very particular
position, as it is the only officially supported Ada compiler on
FreeBSD. Deprecating gcc6-aux means removing anything Ada related on
FreeBSD, and I personally wouldn't like to see that happen. I find Ada
and FreeBSD somewhat similar in spirit -- they are both well engineered
technologies and they opt for relative stability in face of constant
change. If I had more time and resources, I'd be glad to try to port a
newer GNAT to FreeBSD, but until that happens or someone else decides
to do that, having even an old Ada 2012 compiler is better than having

b) gcc6-aux has been qualified as broken because of bug 248674[1], but
I never had issues building gcc6-aux from the ports tree. I haven't had
time to look into 248674 in detail, but if I'm not mistaken, gcc6
wouldn't build if a newer isl library is installed on the system, and
the isl is not a build dependency for gcc6. I apologize in advance if I
misunderstood the bug report, but I believe this issue could have been
handled in a less heavy-handed manner by making isl a conflicting port
for gcc6-aux, instead of removing gcc6-aux even for users who do not
use isl.

c) to this, I can only offer to take maintainership of ports-mgmt/synth
and lang/gcc6-aux. I haven't maintained a FreeBSD port before, so I
must admit I cannot estimate how much effort it would require on my
side. I only have a hunch that these ports will be slow-moving targets,
and will not require too much maintenance effort.

If anyone reading this is negatively affected by deprecation of Synth
and gcc6-aux, I believe Synth can still be used by building it from
source using one of ANNEXI-STRAYLINE's GNAT packs[2].

Best regards,
Bojan Petrović