ports and PBIs

James Butler sweetnavelorange at gmail.com
Tue Apr 13 22:14:55 UTC 2010

On 13/04/10 19:09, Lucas Holt wrote:
> On 4/10/2010 3:18 PM, kris at pcbsd.org wrote
> <snip>
>> However for my more hard-core friends, nothing stopping you from
>> running your own ports down
>> the road, more power to ya! For doing something like embedded work or
>> a server this makes total
>> sense and I think it is a huge positive for FreeBSD, no reason to
>> trash that or break it in any way.
>> For the other 99.9% of society who want something "that just works"
>> for day-to-day computing,
>> something like PBI is very attractive. It would be great to have an OS
>> that offers best of both worlds.
>> --
>> Kris Moore
> There are only two possibilities with any package system. Either give
> the user self packaged binaries containing all shared libraries or make
> them update everything. Both have positives and negatives. We've been

Only two possibilities? I remember reading about a third in a paper 
proposing an enhancement to pkgsrc, but now I can't find the paper :-( 
Basically this involves distributing and downloading separate packages 
as with pkg_add, but installing each one in an isolated directory so 
multiple conflicting versions can be present side-by-side. The package 
tools then arrange for each package to have symlinks to all the packages 
it depends on, in a private libdepends/ folder or something. So if I 
install package A1.1 which depends on B3.2, then I want to install C5.3 
which depends on B4.0, I have a choice: to upgrade A to a version 
depending on B4.0 if one exists, or to install C5.3 with B4.0 alongside 
A1.1 and B3.2.

I'll try to find the paper I'm recalling after work, until then I'll 
just have to wave my hands in the air.

-James Butler

> working on a new package system in MidnightBSD for some time. When we
> weighed this issue, it was decided that letting users have old binaries
> sitting around was a bad idea. It encourages a user to sit on a package
> for a year and not install security updates. The larger package size
> also deters users from downloading updates in parts of the world which
> have slow Internet connections. Remember the GDI+ update to windows
> awhile back? There were many applications that had to be updated and
> Microsoft had to release a scanner to search the drive for uses. There
> side isn't always rosy.
> Obviously, there are also advantages to the larger PBI packages for
> users. PC-BSD is certainly easy to use.
> At the end of the day, I think creating packages more frequently during
> releases and pushing updates like many linux distros do makes more sense
> in terms of security. FreeBSD has ten times the number of ports to build
> than we do so obviously it's a problem to build packages that frequently.
> I don't want to butt in any more on this because it's not my place, but
> I just felt it was important to bring another perspective.
> Lucas
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