duration of the ports freeze

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Sat Dec 1 10:28:45 PST 2007

On Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 09:48:34AM -0800, David Southwell wrote:
> On Saturday 01 December 2007 08:48:41 Erik Trulsson wrote:
> > On Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 07:49:00AM -0800, David Southwell wrote:
> > > On Saturday 01 December 2007 05:58:21 Thierry Thomas wrote:
> > > > On Sat  1 dec 07 at 14:25:08 +0100, Erik Trulsson
> > > > <ertr1013 at student.uu.se>
> > > >
> > > >  wrote:
> > > > > The ports freeze is intended to make sure the ports tree is in a
> > > > > stable and well tested state for the release.  Updating major ports
> > > > > always carry a great risk of breaking things thus defeating the point
> > > > > of the freeze.
> > > >
> > > > Anyway, if the freeze is too long, and if the new version is released
> > > > several weeks after the thaw, very few will install these packages:
> > > > a lot of updates will be committed, and many users will update their
> > > > ports tree to install the new versions. This is very difficult to find
> > > > a good compromise!
> > >
> > > I do not think we need a compromise we need a different system. We need
> > > one that preserves continuity of support for existing systems while the
> > > new releases are testedin a way that does not adversely impact them. The
> > > priority needs to be the current user base not a desire to rush a new
> > > release out the door at all costs.
> >
> > Considering that FreeBSD releases almost always get delayed by several
> > weeks compared to the original schedule I think it is safe to say that "a
> > desire to rush a new release out the door at all costs" is something that
> > the FreeBSD project certainly does not suffer from.
> I believe this to be head in the sand logic.IMHO It is rushing it out the door 
> at all costs if the cost is a port freeze!!!

I do not follow your logic at all. I do not see the rushing part occuring. 
The ports freeze is a consequence of *not* rushing out the release, but
instead pausing and making sure everything is right before making the

> A port freeze is the most user 
> unfriendly act that one could think of!

Not even close.  Having lots of broken ports would be much more user
unfriendly.  To most users a ports freeze is probably no more than a minor
inconvenience, if they even notice it.

> >
> > Now it may be that due to the ports freeze, there will be some ports whose
> > upgrade will be delayed for a couple of weeks (not to be confused with
> > those ports whose upgrade gets delayed for other reasons.)
> > I do not consider this to be a major problem.
> >
> > I think you vastly overestimate the need for the ports tree to always have
> > the latest versions of all softwares contained therein.
> The ports system and new release development systems need to move seemlessly 
> not interfere with one another. This means a rethink of the fundamental 
> assumptions that drive current policies and practice.

What "fundamental assumptions" are you thinking of?

> >
> > In those very rare cases where a user just cannot wait 2-3 weeks extra for
> > an upgrade, they can always try to build the software themselves outside
> > the ports system.
> I regard this view as developer centric rather than user centric. As I have 
> said elsewhere the ports system is freebsd msp and users are not naturally 
> comnfortable with building outside the ports system. If they were we would 
> not need the system!!!

I believe there is only a quite small minority of users who actually *need*
to have all the ports updated as quickly as possible.  Most of those users
are probably sufficiently technically proficient to be able to handle
building things outside the ports system.

All those users who want to be able to install a new release with
accompanying packages and just want it to work 'out of the box' without
*having* to upgrade anything are probably better off with the current
policies.  I don't know, but I suspect those are the majority of ordinary

Personally, as a user, I have never really been even slightly inconvienced
by any of the ports tree freezes.

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se

More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list