ports structure and improvement suggestions

Sideris Michael msid at daemons.gr
Mon May 8 22:21:28 UTC 2006

On Mon, May 08, 2006 at 05:14:24PM -0500, Paul Schmehl wrote:
> Sideris Michael wrote:
> >
> >Maybe I am not an expert regarding ports, but I thought there is a way to 
> >convert all ports Makefiles without any problems. Maybe I am wrong.
> >
> You're wrong about something much more fundamental than that.  *Only* 
> the port maintainer knows why he or she created the port the way they 
> did.  They may have *very* good reasons for *not* using OPTIONS, and for 
> anyone to assume that OPTIONS (or any other knob in Makefiles) should 
> simply be forced upon all port maintainers is simply wrong.  I suspect 
> you'll run off more than a few by doing that.

I never said to force the usage of OPTIONS. Force the usage of KNOBS. 
ONE of them, not both.

> If you think the port committers, who are simply trying to stay above 
> water, have any idea what most of the ports they commit actually do, 
> you're dreaming.  No one can know what 14,000+ ports do.  That's *why* 
> you have ports maintainers - because they (supposedly) actually know 
> what the ports they maintain do, and they care about doing it right. 
> (I'm generalizing, of course, but I'm certain it's true for the vast 
> majority of them.)

So in that sense if I become a port maintainer and I find a new way, 
I will include it. Since I will consider it to be the best way for a 
specific port. Come on..

> The first thing *you* should do is "grep -r 'MAINTAINER=' /usr/ports/* | 
> grep 'ports at FreeBSD.org' " and locate some ports that no longer have 
> maintainers.  Then volunteer to maintain them.  *After* you've gained 
> some experience (and I guarantee you will make mistakes and learn new 
> things), *then* you can suggest major changes to the way ports are 
> maintained.

I don't have port maintainer experience, that's for sure. And of course
I would make mistakes. That's why I am throwing ideas through these
emails. I am merely proposing stuff.

> For me personally, OPTIONS are optional, depending upon the port I'm 
> working on.  For some, OPTIONS would do nothing, because there *are* no 
> OPTIONS.  When it's appropriate, I use it.  When it's not, I don't.

So, more or less you suggest to leave it in the chaotic situation it is now.
Sorry but i disagree.

Sideris Michael.

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