Limitations of Ports System

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Fri Dec 14 18:44:09 PST 2007

--On December 14, 2007 5:21:02 PM -0800 Brian <bri at> wrote:
> Information does indeed need to be gathered, and while even the ports
> list will only grab a small percentage of FreeBSD users, other options
> would likely grab a lot less.  Plus, most of the users here are
> knowledgeable enough to give decent input.  For those of you that don't
> like change may I suggest the book that led to
>  It is really in all of our best
> interest to have the product evolve, the alternative is much worse.

This really is getting quite irritating.  Not one person on this list has 
*ever* said they don't want to entertain new ideas for ports.  Not one 
person on this list has said they don't like change.  *All* of the 
complaints have been along the lines of "go write some code and stop 
filling up this list with posts".  And that is *precisely* the point.

Yet the proponents of the Aryeh bandwagon keep throwing up this straw man 
that those of us who have tired of the useless back and forth are refusing 
to listen and uninterested in change, when *nothing* could be further from 
the truth.  ports@ is *not* a development list.  Its purpose is to provide 
news about ports, discuss problems with ports, get advice on porting and 
so forth.  Or, to quote its charter, "Discussions concerning FreeBSD's 
“ports collection” (/usr/ports), ports infrastructure, and general 
ports coordination efforts. This is a technical mailing list for which 
strictly technical content is expected."

Get that?  "Strictly technical".  "How do you feel about the present 
design" or "what don't you like about the present design" or "if you could 
change something about ports, what would it be" are *not* appropriate 
discussions for this list.

It's time to move this "discussion" to some place where those that *care* 
about coding and/or redesigning the ports system can participate and 
discuss code and return this list to its original purpose.  The only 
FreeBSD list that would be appropriate (if that - it's not really) would 
be arch, which is for architecture and design discussions.  This thread is 
a design discussion and does not belong here.  Please move it to a more 
appropriate place and leave this list alone.  Ask the FreeBSD maintainers 
to create a new list "ports-design@" if you like, but please stop the 
discussions here.  They are inappropriate for this list.

And stop lying about the motivations of the many talented people who have 
asked, politely and otherwise, to stop.

Paul Schmehl (pauls at
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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