There is no way to know what port options mean (in general)

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at
Wed Mar 26 02:54:32 PDT 2008

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 04:33:28PM +1100, Andrew Reilly wrote:
> "make config" in many port directories produces an interactive
> dialog where one may select various make environment variables
> to be set. There is a one line description of each flag, to help
> one make this selection. Unfortunately, in many situations, this
> description is unhelpful, as flag FOO will have description "foo
> support", or possiblly "libfoo support". Unless one is fairly
> well familiar with both the package and the libraries, one can
> not readily know what the implications of setting these controls
> one way or the other is.

What you want is something like what some ports offer (but it's a
per-port thing): "make showconfig", which describes all the available
knobs in detail.

I'm not saying what you want is unreasonable -- it's very reasonable.

But there's no existing ports framework for documenting OPTIONS features
in verbose detail for all ports which use OPTIONS.  At this time it's a
"per port" thing, and up to the port maintainer.

Solving this problem:

I don't agree with something like a pkg-options-descr file in each port,
because that drastically increases the number of inodes used on the
filesystem.  Simultaneously, sticking long and verbose texts inside of
the Makefile only clutters things.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                    jdc at |
| Parodius Networking                  |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                      Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.                  PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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