Question about Port maintainership

Danny Pansters danny at
Fri Nov 25 23:14:38 GMT 2005

On Friday 25 November 2005 18:03, Matt Crossley wrote:
> Hi all,
> A couple of questions regarding port maintainership, etc.
> There is a port that I recently needed to install that I haven't used in
> quite some time (sysutils/autopsy). The port is quite outdated, and
> hasn't been updated since March, 2004. The version is at 1.73, whereas
> the actual application itself is up to Version 2.06, released in
> October, 2005.
> I've sent the current maintainer an email asking if either he'd update
> the port, or if I could take over maintainership and do regular updates
> on the port. That was about 3 weeks ago, and I have heard no response
> from him. What should be my next step? Should I make a patch to update
> the Makefile and submit a PR? Or submit a change maintainer PR? I don't
> want ot step on anyone's toes, but it's been over a year since an update
> by the maintainer, and I'd like to pick up the slack.

That's always a problem. The guy may be not interested anymore or for all you 
know he may be in hospital... I suggest going through the system, that is 
send-pr for your update. At worst you have to sit out a maintainer timeout, 
but then it's recognized as such by the committers. Work with the person that 
handles your PR, (s)he's going to have to decide on maintainer timeout should 
that time come. By staying out of the game, you're only making the time you 
have to wait longer IMHO.

> My next question has to do with an application that I think would be
> useful, but is not in the ports tree. It is a commercial, proprietary
> product that is free for download, without having to click and agreement
> or accept a EULA. I'd like to add this port, and I've contacted the
> company in question (over 1 week ago), but they have not responded yet.
> So I'm wondering what the policy is regarding adding ports where the
> developer or company has not explicitly approved this addition to the
> ports system. In many respects, it would be beneficial for them to have
> more exposure, but maybe they wouldn't appreciate it for some reason?
> Any guidelines there?

If their license permits (in your port you can forbid reproduction if that's 
needed, which means there's not going to be a package on FTP/CDs, see porters 
handbook). They dont have to explicitly approve I think, certainly not if the 
port only downloads the freely available binary and installs it.

> I've started to go through the Porter's Handbook, and I'm looking
> forward to being able to make contributions, as minor as they are, to
> the growth of FreeBSD. :-)

The PH is very useful, albeit a bit incomplete here and there. Also following 
freebsd-ports@ is a great way to keep up and learn how things work.



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