gtar update: opinions sought

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Thu Apr 22 11:32:01 PDT 2004

Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> obrien@ has pointed out to me that new releases of GNU tar have
> become available (1.13.94 so far), so I intend to revive the
> archivers/gtar port.


> Currently, the gtar port introduces a number of gratuitous differences
> to gtar as distributed.  These were originally modifications to our
> in-tree tar and sobomox@ synched them into the port (without
> consulting the maintainer).  These changes range from the arguably
> useful --fast-read option and differences in permission handling
> for root to cosmetics such as a different, locale-dependent date
> format in archive listings.

"This tar is MY tar, this tar is YOUR tar, this tar is GNU tar, ... 
bump-ba-bump, ba-ba..." [ Hummed to the tune of "This land is my land." ]

I've never liked being surprised by someone changing something without letting 
me know about it, either, but the merits of any such change ought to be 
considered seperately from how they were made.

> Personally, I would like to drop these differences with the update
> and make our gtar port by and large follow the distribution defaults
> again.  Introducing local behavior changes (other than bug fixes,
> of course) into a cross-platform tool like gtar is confusing to
> users, if not outright dangerous.

I hear this, and strongly agree with the position.

Perhaps a good test for a modification should be kept is whether the gnutar 
maintainers are willing to import that change, support it as an option, etc?


More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list