HEADS UP: freetype2 upgrade

Mark Linimon linimon at lonesome.com
Sat Mar 27 09:44:17 PST 2004

On Sat, 27 Mar 2004, Doug Barton wrote:
> I think you (pl.) need to get your heads around the fact that we have
> several hundred ports [maintainers], many of whom have styles and ideas
> that differ from those of the "ports intelligentsia" that seems to have
> arisen over the last few years. And seriously, that needs to be ok.

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"?

There is also the issue that some of the ideas have limitations, i.e.,
there is more "method to the madness" than first appears.  This is
especially true in that some of these ideas don't take into account
things like the desire to be able to install ports from a read-only
file system.  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.  As you yourself have pointed out, it's hard to bring new ports
committers up to speed, and part of it is due to these subtleties.
Having the N different approaches only complicates this problem IMHO.

> one thing I *have* seen more of lately is ports maintainers giving
> up on the rat race of trying to keep up with a ports infrastructure
> that's constantly changing out from under them.

The infrastructure that worked for 1500 ports is not necessarily the
infrastructure that's going to work for 10500 ports.  The refactoring
of a great deal of common code into USE_*, WANT_*, and WITH_* is a
prime example of this.

> If they're not careful, our all too clever ports gurus are going to
> find themselves sitting all alone on an island, wondering why so
> many ports say "MAINTAINER= ports at freebsd.org."

Number of ports with no maintainer: 2877 (27.0%) as of a few minutes
ago.  I hope that no one would argue that this state of affairs is
by any means desireable.  If individual (non-committer) maintainers
wish to comment, especially the ones that (as you say) have given up,
I'd be all ears.  I am too close to the meta-issues to have that
kind of perspective.

Of course, if you want to provide a list of the things that have come
in over the past few years that you identify as cruft, those would be
a useful datapoints for a constructive discussion, as well.  (I'm
certainly that what follows from this can be constructive).


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