Request for Features: Ports Re-engineering

Alejandro Pulver alepulver at
Mon Dec 17 18:43:02 PST 2007

On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:49:45 -0500
Tom McLaughlin <tmclaugh at> wrote:

> On Mon, 2007-12-17 at 11:42 -0300, Alejandro Pulver wrote:
> > On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 07:48:07 -0600
> > Stephen Montgomery-Smith <stephen at> wrote:
> > 
> <snip>
> > 
> > > On the other hand some ports really need to be built from a clean 
> > > system.  Some of them autodetect ports that are already installed, and 
> > > then change options appropriately.  (Maybe some of the multimedia ports 
> > > like vlc do this.)  My guess is that this is to some extent unavoidable 
> > > because the "configure" script in the port build process probably does 
> > > this as well.  Anyway, perhaps this autodetecting of ports to provide 
> > > options needs to be built into the system in a systematic manner.  Then 
> > > robotic package builders could be trained to glean this information from 
> > > the build tree (what you refer to as the DAG - is that "directed 
> > > something graph"?).
> > > 
> > 
> > Auto-detection is certainly avoidable. Some for example only enable
> > detection of MMX/SSE/etc instructions when not building in
> > pointyhat/tinderbox. IIRC ports should respect the users' choice, but
> > it's not easy with the current OPTIONS handling (some have knobs that
> > can be set to on/off/auto).
> > 
> I think he's referring to configure scripts which will build additional
> functionality and link against additional libs if they are already
> installed.  These are a major pain and at least for me caused a fair
> amount of random breakage after updating ports.  I've since moved to
> using a tinderbox to build all my packages and point my systems to that

I personally enable/disable manually (or set the default dependencies
for) these configure options which autodetect by default (for the ports
I make). And I was referring to ports which force autodetection but
record the dependencies. I'm sure there could be some of these you
mentioned in my system, but as I haven't run pkg_cutleaves or similar
for a while, and didn't have such problems with upgrades, I haven't

This is actually the responsibility of the maintainer, but a check with
'ldd' could be added (there was a discussion about this, and I'm going
to read it again, but IIRC dynamically loaded libraries can't be
identified this way).

Best Regards,
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