Has the port collection become to large to handle.

Kyrre Nygard kyrreny at broadpark.no
Mon May 15 08:54:58 UTC 2006

At 20:28 13.05.2006, fbsd wrote:
>To all question list readers;
>Now with 14576 ports in the collection where do you
>draw the line that its too large to be downloading
>the whole collection when you just use 10 or 20 of them?
>The port collection is growing at a ever increasing rate per month.
>The mass majority of the ports are so special purpose that only a
>very few people have need of them. Sure there are ways to limit
>the categories you select to download, but still the size of
>the most used categories is too large and loaded with ports not
>commonly used by the general user.
>So people them use the packages. But the problem with the
>packages is they are not updated every time changes are
>made to the port they were created from. Also packages that
>have dependants like php4/php5 or mysql4/mysql5 are not being
>updated to use the newer versions of those dependants as they come
>I for one think the port/package collection has already grown to
>large to handle in it's present state.
>Users are consuming massive bandwidth to download and it
>consumes a very large chunk of disk space. Saying nothing about
>the wasted resources consumed to back it up repeatedly.
>I have gone to using the package version for everything and
>only downloading the ports config files for packages that
>I need to compile from scratch to change some add on function.
>This methodology has worked fine since FreeBSD version 3.0 as
>I used each new release of FreeBSD up to 6.1.
>Now in 6.1 there is problems with packages that have not been
>recreated using the new system make file.
>This problem is caused by there being no mandatory requirement on
>the ports maintainers to recreate the packages any time one of the
>dependants change or when changes are made to the canned make
>or when dependants show up as broken. Yes I know what a large task
>this is and that it requires a lot of run time to accomplish.
>So my question is how do we users make our needs known
>to the ports maintainer group so that will seriously address
>the problem of the packages being outdated?
>Are there other people on this list who are dissatisfied with the
>packages and the problems associated with using packages and ports
>mixed together?
>What are your thoughts about requesting the ports group to create
>a new category containing just the ports most commonly used
>their dependents and making this general category the default
>used to download. This would be a much smaller sized download
>containing everything necessary to build the most used ports.
>Many of the dependents are used over and over by many
>different port applications.
>This new category would them be given priority in keeping
>their packages up to date. Could even take this idea one step
>and say that only ports in this category will have packages
>built and keep up to date. All ports not in this special
>category will not have packages built at all. I think this
>would help the port group to better manager their people resources
>and serve the needs of the user community better.
>Another idea I would like to throw out to the list is how about
>requesting the ports group to add a function to packages so the
>installer of the package can select what version of the dependent
>components should be included in the install.
>Much like "make config" does in the ports system?
>The packages system already automatically launches the download
>of dependent packages so why not give the installer the option to
>select which version of the dependent to fetch.
>Like in php4/5 or mysql4/5 or apache 13/20. This way the package
>is more flexible and the port maintainer does not have to build
>a different version of the parent package for each version of
>the dependant which is available.
>The whole idea behind this post is to give the general users who
>reads this questions list an opportunity to brainstorm about ways to
>make the ports/package collection better and easier to use.
>This may help the ports group in understanding the needs and
>direction we the users would like to see the management of
>the collection to take.
>If we don't speak up they will just think things are ok as they are
>FreeBSD is a public project. The ports group are not the only
>users who can give input about the direction and policies
>concerning the future of the ports/package collection.
>All feedback welcome.


I would just like to direct you to one of my previous threads:


It was not warmly welcomed though.

All the best,

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