listing the WITH_* variables for each package

Richard Coleman richardcoleman at
Sun Nov 16 09:40:11 PST 2003

One thing I always find annoying is the necessity to dig through the 
Makefiles to look at all the WITH_* variables that are available when 
compiling a port.  I think there are a couple easy options to do 
something better here.

1. Have a suggestion in the porter's handbook to list them in pkg-descr. 
  Along with each WITH variable would be a one line description.  This 
would be very helpful and not much extra work.

2. Create another (optional) file such as pkg-options in each port.  It 
would simply be a listing of the available WITH options and a one line 
description.  Experimental or developer-only options could be left out 
or marked differently.  This would also open additional automated build 
possibilities such as doing test builds with all possible subsets of the 
WITH variables (obviously this would be time consuming, but wouldn't 
need to be done very often).

Either one of these methods could be incrementally implemented, and 
would be optional (but recommended).  But it would be very helpful to 
many users.

Richard Coleman
richardcoleman at

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