[RFC/P] Port System Re-Engineering

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Mon Dec 3 11:52:49 PST 2007

Paul Schmehl wrote:
> --On Monday, December 03, 2007 13:53:06 -0500 "Aryeh M. Friedman" 
> <aryeh.friedman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Have you ever attempted to install the individual ports of a mega
>> metaport?
> Of course I have.  And I haven't run into any problems that weren't 
> solvable.
>>> Before you waste any more time, why don't you get very specific
>>> about what you think the "bad state" of the ports system is.  "I
>>> don't like it" doesn't qualify nor does "ports freezes suck".
>> I never asked or said any of those... the original thread was started
>> when I asked how long the port freeze would last... others turned it
>> into a referendum on the ports system... once the thread had been
>> transformed I ventured some of my own ideas.
> The "bad state" quote is directly from you.  Since you made the 
> statement, I  simply asked for some concrete examples of what you think 
> "bad state" means.  You used the term.  Surely you have some idea what 
> you meant by it?
>> I have 4 ports awaiting inclusion in the ports tree after the freeze
>> is over (I am willing to wait but I think the fact that there was a
>> ports freeze in the first place points to some underlaying flaws which
>> I cited in the original thread)
> What would those flaws be?  You have a system that is entirely 
> volunteer. Expecting the same performance that you get from a paid 
> system is unrealistic.  Sometimes maintainers are very busy and can't 
> commit changes as rapidly as others would like.  The solution?  Submit 
> your own patches to the port and they will most likely get approved.  
> Sometimes committers are very busy and can't get to your port right 
> away.  The solution?  Ask a different committer to take a look.  Or 
> become a committer yourself.

Umm, not sure I agree with you here, fella, because I've been a user of 
commercial Unix software both as a direct purchaser (my first Unix was 
the old Everex Esix Unix) and often enough for different employers.  I 
can state here unequivolcal truths, that NO ONE with equal experience 
would possibly challenge: commercial software houses DO NOT give better 
service, neither more timely, nor more responsive, than any aspect 
whatever of FreeBSD.  There are aspects of FreeBSD (ports and others) 
that I personally think could be improved, but the only way that ANY 
coomercial product is better, is if you are the one or two biggest 
customers of that software house.  If you're not, then there simply 
isn't even any possible chance of me being anywhere near wrong on this.

If you agree, keep silent, you know as well as I that if all folks who 
agreed answered up here, we'd never end this thread.  If you are a 
professional, and can state any example at all of any company at all 
that beats FreeBSD's actual record, g'wan, post.  It's only you that 
you'd be embarrassing.  God knows I never got such service as one gets, 
as a regular item, from these mailing lists.  I'm not saying you will 
ayways get agreement with your own personal peeve, I know I don't, but I 
do know, that asking any commercial company to change their product, you 
will get some sales geek who will jolly you by saying "its in the pipe" 
but, in fact, don't hold your breath, fella, it's never gonna arrive.

I can be pretty certain here about not being seriously challenged, 
anyone who's experienced enough to know, knows I'm right.

> Short of hiring professionals to do this work on a fulltime basis, what 
> would you propose that would improve the system?
> According to your sig you're a developer, so I'm certain you understand 
> what library incompatibilities are.  Given that, how would you propose 
> to not freeze ports while the base system is being prepared for release?

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