duration of the ports freeze

David Southwell david at vizion2000.net
Sat Dec 1 09:16:43 PST 2007

On Saturday 01 December 2007 08:58:17 Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
> On Sat, 1 Dec 2007, Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
> >> On Sat, 1 Dec 2007, Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> >>> Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
> >>>> Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> For some reason, people contributing to this mailing list are
> >>>> getting frustrated because some of the applications are now
> >>>> getting to be about a month old.  But why should we expect to
> >>>> have the latest and greatest in version number of application?
> >>>> It is because this is what we usually have, and so a periodic
> >>>> hiccup is out of the ordinary and so frustrates us.
> >>>>
> >>>> But suppose you are running Red Hat Linux instead.  Do you also
> >>>> get the latest and greatest in this super timely manner?  (To
> >>>> be honest this is not a rhetorical question, but my guess is
> >>>> "no.")
> >>>>
> >>>> In fact, who feels this frustration.  Is it the ordinary user?
> >>>> Or is it us port maintainers who wish they could get their more
> >>>> recent PR's accepted?
> >>>>
> >>>> Surely this frustration is felt by us because we have
> >>>> information that things could be a little more up to date.  But
> >>>> if we weren't in the know, then we wouldn't be so upset.
> >>>
> >>> I am not suggesting we do a major overhaul before ports are
> >>> unfrozen... what I am suggesting is there is always room for
> >>> improvement and the frustrations voiced should be looked as an
> >>> opportunity to improve it instead of us (the complainers) crying
> >>> in our milk.
> >>
> >> I feel that your deflection of the points I made was a little
> >> unfair. My question is - why exactly is there a frustration?  Is it
> >>  because the FreeBSD community have somehow set expectations to be
> >> "totally up to date" a little too high?  Are we simply expecting
> >> more from FreeBSD than we get from Linux distributions or MS,
> >> simply because the average user has tremendous knowledge and
> >> insight into the internal development process?
> >>
> >> Remember, I'm just an average user, just like you.  I have no
> >> special axe to grind in defending FreeBSD.
> >
> > Even though this is best answered in a more systematic way (an
> > "official" review of the entire problem set) here are my reasons for
> > being frustrated:
> >
> > 1. There as has been some work that I am aware on ports I use that has
> > not bean released during the freeze for various reasons (such as miro
> > and qemu patchs [enable the use of physical drives and run vista
> > without crashing]).   None of them are pressing enough for me to
> > bypass the ports system because everytime you do so you complicate
> > upgrading (have fun keeping track of what you installed from ports and
> > what came from vendor tar's)
> >
> > 2. As a developer I have 3 ports I would like to release ;-)
> But this agrees with my original assertion - that the frustration is from
> the port maintainers and originators, rather than the port users.
> What solution would you propose.  The only one I can think of is
> that we have a ports-stable and a ports-current.  But I can see many
> people not liking this idea.
> _______________________________________________
I suggest you re-read my original.

IMHO there are multiple choices beyond the notion of ports-stable and ports 
current. The idea I proposed is that ports have release dependencies and as 
new releases are being prepared maintainers change the dependencies when the 
port has been tested and ready for the new release. In other words the 
process becomes one of independent migration of capability over time rather 
than a mad rush within a freeze.

The problem is trying to get everything done at once. The current solution is 
designed around the needs of developers rather than the needs of users!!

IMHO we need to switch priorities. It does not matter if it takes 3 months to 
have the ports migrated for the new release. It does matter to not have 
upgrades when you work in communities with multiple operating systems. It 
matters when you cannot test projects using the same version of software that 
someone else is using. The current OS capability is less significant to end 
users than port capabilities.

David Southwell

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