Limitations of Ports System

David Southwell david at
Sat Dec 15 01:50:56 PST 2007

On Friday 14 December 2007 18:44:09 Paul Schmehl wrote:
> --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.
I think you have been very politely asked to stop highjacking perfectly 
legitimate discussion by trolling. If you do not want to contribute 
positively please use your delete key. In accordance with the charter you 
describe please make some technical contributions in accordance with the 

I have already indicated the dangers of loss of credibility that follows from 
any autocratic assumptions that any one individual is entitled to be 
prescriptive. I do not think you are entitled to assume that your side of the 
argument has a monopoly of talent. IMHO we can all do without incessant 
hectoring, lecturing and bullying and more collegially expressed 
contributions on topic. 

This thread is entitled "The limits of the Ports System" not "Why we should 
not discuss the limts of the ports system". If you have nothing to say on 
topic then please be humble and keep quiet

Thank you

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