Suggested improvements for ports

Aryeh M. Friedman aryeh.friedman at
Fri Jan 11 07:43:55 PST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Paul Schmehl wrote:
> Some of this has been discussed ad infinitum, but, in an off-list
> conversation, I came up with this list of suggested improvements
> for port.  I'd like to see these things done, but I'm not sure how.
>  Improve the docs?  Create a checklist?

A fairly complete redrafting of the current docs (combine the stuff in
the handbook and the stuff in the porters guide into a "ports guide")
is one of the side projects of ports 2.0.
> 1) You can't build a dependent port and first set the config for
> the options that you want.  So, when you select sasl in postfix,
> you never get the chance to check the saslauthd option, for
> example. 2) There's no standard for some of the details of port
> building. So, it's entirely up to the port maintainer and the
> committer to decide how to build the port.  The postfix port
> maintainer *could* include a dependency for saslauthd. He chose not
> to.  He *could* include a note in pkg-message that warns you that
> saslauthd needs to be installed as well.  He chose not to.  His
> choices are both reasonable and customary, but they don't serve the
> customer well. 3) There's no standard for the format of pkg-plist,
> pkg-message or pkg-descr, so port maintainers are free to put
> whatever they want in there.  There's a customary way of doing it,
> but it's not set in stone and variations are found throughout
> ports. 4) There's no standard for config files.  Do you overwrite?
> Do you ignore?  Do you create port.conf-sample?  port.conf-dist?
> port.conf-example?  Do you check to see if port.conf is there, and,
>  if not, copy it to ${LOCALBASE}/etc? ${PREFIX}/etc? 5) There's no
> standard for pkg-plist.  When is it required?  When is it not?
> (IOW, what's the maximum number of files you can put in Makefile so
> you don't have to create a pkg-plist?  Do you use unexec always?
> Or only when you want/decide to?  Do you just ignore the conf file
> and not uninstall it?

All of the above have been adddressed and/or on the agenda for ports
2.0.   If you want details contact me, David Southwell or
alepulver at since the topic has been more then hashed out
publically and til some results are ready it is not a good idea to do
so again.
> I don't know the right answer to these questions, but I think they
> need to be answered.  I'm willing to volunteer to do some work if
> someone will tell me what that work is.  Docs?  A committee?

Already established in forms of the ports 2.0 team if you want to join
we are always looking for new people.

- --
Aryeh M. Friedman
FloSoft Systems, Java Developer Tools.
Developer, not business, friendly.

"Free software != Free beer"

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