Second "RFC" on pkg-data idea for ports

Garance A Drosihn drosih at
Mon Apr 12 20:41:02 PDT 2004

[this is BCC'ed to -hackers and -arch just so everyone has a
       chance to see it, but I expect the bulk of the discussion
       should take place on the freebsd-ports mailing list]

Back in January I send out a long-ish email asking for feedback
on some ideas I had for the ports-collection.  I received a fair
number of comments, and have finally re-organized my ideas into
a few web pages.  Hopefully these will make more sense.

Initially I had written the ideas up as a bunch of Wiki pages,
but the machine holding that Wiki died, taking with it all the
pages I had written...  I have not proof-read the web pages,
so there's probably some spelling mistakes and odd sentences
on them.  Apologies for that, but I wanted to get *something*
sent out this week. This project has been blocked due to a
lack of time on my part, and I want to get it moving again...

The basic idea is to collapse many of the separate files for a
port into a single pkg-data file.  The web pages explain why I
think this might be worth doing.  Please check them out at:

Some of the work for this has been done, mainly just to see how
well it might work out.  The project is still probably more work
than Darren and I can finish, so we might limit ourselves to a
subset of the idea.  For instance, we might start out by just
collapsing the distinfo, pkg-plist, and "files/patches-*" files
into a pkg-data file, and leave the other files for some later

What I'd like is some idea of whether this project is worth
pursuing.  If not, then Darren and I will concentrate on some
other, less disruptive project.  If people like the general idea
of this project, then we'll see how much of we can do.  If we
have some of the details wrong, then let us know what we need
to change or where we need to look for more information.  I know
that I am not a full-fledged expert in every facet of the ports
collection, and I am not looking to ram some ideas down everyone's
throat.  I just think that some change like this one could be
useful for the ports collection, and I'm trying to come up with
something that everyone sees as useful.

If this project does not seem like it would be worth the effort,
then that will be perfectly okay too.  Please let me know what you
think.  Also, please read the web pages before responding.  It took
me a fair amount of time to write the web pages that are there (as
lame as they are...), and I'd rather not have to retype all of that
into a long series of disjointed messages...

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   gad at
Senior Systems Programmer           or  gad at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  drosih at

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