HEADS UP: freetype2 upgrade

Mark Linimon linimon at lonesome.com
Sat Apr 3 17:47:06 PST 2004

On Sat, 3 Apr 2004, Doug Barton wrote:
> > How, then, do we address the problem of new port submitters and/or
> > maintainers, who, when they are confronted with the multiple existing
> > approaches in the tree, are frustrated when they can't figure out which
> > one they ought to use, i.e., which one is "better"?
> Wow. I am deeply saddened by this question (seriously). There certainly
> should be "A" way to get things done that is well documented in the
> porter's handbook

Yes, but in general, there *isn't*.  Will you help out by writing PRs
against the Porter's Handbook?  I have several in progress.  Note that
there are entire chapters that are just *blank*.  I hope we can find
common ground that that doesn't help anyone.

> > The Right Thing in this case is not really a matter for experimentation,
> > there's pretty much one way that works and that's it.
> ... this is just plain stupid. How do you think we got to where we are
> now if it wasn't by experimentation?

The particular case I'm talking about is the ability to build ports from
read-only filesystems.  IMHO, but very strongly so IMHO, there is one
way to do this and it needs to be better documented in the Porter's
Handbook and if anyone wants to color outside that line they should be
prepared to show that it works.

> And these things are great, as long as they are offered as a service
> to port authors (not a requirement), and don't break existing ports.

OK.  So we want innovations -- but we don't want to break existing
ports.  I'm confused.  How do we move forward from here?  What
specific examples do you have in mind?

> You're not taking into account ports that are "dead in the water" that
> the maintainers haven't released yet.

No, because that is a political issue, not a technical one.  It's also
a third-rail kind of issue.  I have commented on it elsewhere (see
the latest status report, for one).

> In any case, my main point is simply that it is highly contrary to the
> interests of the project for us to stifle creativity. Rather than trying
> to beat creative thinking out of people in the interests of making it
> easy for people not to have to think very much, we should be encouraging
> creative thinking, and channeling that creativity into new and better
> solutions that will help the ports tree to grow to 150,000 ports.

IMHO we scare off more ports maintainers by confusing them with the
amount of information we expect them to absorb -- especially when
there are multiple approaches -- than we run off by breaking the
infrastructure in the name of improving it.  But I strongly suspect
that this is an issue is one on which you and I are never going to
agree so I won't comment any further.


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