Suggested improvements for ports

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Fri Jan 11 13:45:05 PST 2008

--On Friday, January 11, 2008 12:23:31 -0600 Mark Linimon 
<linimon at> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 11:10:45AM -0600, Paul Schmehl wrote:
>> The porters handbook seems written from the standpoint of a guide more
>> than a manual.
> That's something that I was going to work on, um, last year :-)
> We need both.  Right now we have this hybrid which isn't a completely
> satisfactory solution for either one.
> This is historical; it kind of grew out of an initial short how-to
> document, then, as new things were stuffed into the ports infrastructure,
> there was no better place to document them.
> The "quick porting" text should turn into a "guide"; the "slow porting"
> text should become the reference.

I like this idea.  The problem for new porters is that a brief skim of the "how 
to" leaves out a lot of details that become important once you actually start 
creating that first port.

Perhaps the right way to approach this is a guide that links to a reference 
doc?  The guide covers the basic "rules" (if you're going to do this, do it 
this way, if you're not going to do that, you need to do this instead) and then 
the reference provides both links and examples to show how something is done.

I agree we shouldn't formalize it too much, but I *do* think some things should 
be standardized.  For example, the default conf file should have a standardized 
name throughout, either -sample or -dist or -example or something, and that 
should be followed throughout.

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

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