Conrad J. Sabatier conrads at
Sun Jun 27 17:17:24 PDT 2004

In article <1_IDc.15617$w07.1121 at>,
Robert Melson  <melsonr at> wrote:
>On Sunday 27 June 2004 17:29, Conrad J. Sabatier wrote:
>>>On Sunday 27 June 2004 16:20, Warren Block wrote:
>>>I had some examples in my original posting:  all of KDE, the gnome
>>>stuff necessary for gnumeric and Abiword, among others, some PERL
>>>modules (go figure on this!), as well as a bunch of other things,
>>>adding up to about 125 ported applications (20-25% of the ports on my 
>>>system).  The list was derived by running pkg_info -R python-2.3.4.
>>>I suspect you're correct in surmising what I see is the result of
>>>cascading dependencies, but that really doesn't _satisfy_.  To take a
>>>made up example, it's like saying xterm requires python because it
>>>requires the x-libs which use python, if available, to parse the
>>>system environment.  We both know this is a bunch of horse hockey and 
>>>that xterm no more _requires_ python than does perl5.  And it's here, I
>>>think, that we go beyond cascading dependencies to carelessness --
>>>python is important and useful and has a place as a systems language,
>>>but ...
>>>Hmmph!  This really started as a question to satisfy my curiosity --
>>>is python _really_ required by so much of the ports tree or is it a
>>>matter of carelessness or just the natural tendency to take the easy
>>>out when that doesn't actually hurt anything?  And that was brought 
>>>about because I wanted to do a forced upgrade of those applications -- 
>>>I thought only a few -- that require python because a particular app
>>>that worked before the python upgrade now floats belly up.  A different
>>>cascade effect.
>> If you really think you have a real issue that needs to be brought to
>> the attention of those who may have the authority to do anything about
>> it, you should bring this up in an appropriate mailing list, such as
>> freebsd-ports at
>> I think you may indeed have a valid issue here, but it's a waste of
>> time discussing it here.  None of the right people will even see it.
>Possibly so.  I'd like to get an idea, though, of what others see in
>this regard.  As I said, it started as a matter of curiosity -- why am
>I seeing so many apps requiring python.  I don't doubt that there are
>other, similar strangenesses to be found.

I've run into the same sort of thing that originally sparked your interest 
in this subject, too.  Wanting to upgrade any ports that depend on "foo", 
thinking it should be only a handful, only to find that there were a whole 
slew of ports indirectly dependent on "foo" as well that got included in 
portupgrade's list of ports to upgrade.

That can be most annoying indeed.  I don't know if the matter has come up 
for discussion before (probably has; just about any issue you can think of 
relating to FreeBSD has been discussed before at some point).  :-)

I'll Cc: this to the ports list and see what it generates.  You may want 
to tune in there.

Conrad J. Sabatier <conrads at> -- "In Unix veritas"

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