ports missing their packages.

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Wed Oct 29 09:01:48 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 04:09:23PM +0800, FBSD1 wrote:
> It's my understanding that a port maintainer has to install the port for
> real any time a change is made to the port make files or a update to the
> source of the software to test and verify the changes work as wanted.
> Creating the package after this is just one command and a ftp upload to the
> package server. Why are maintainers being given approval to apply their
> changes without creating the required package? This is just lax management
> on the part of the people who do the authorizing of the changes. Missing
> packages increases user frustration level and makes FreeBSD look like its
> being mis-managed.

It is not port managers who create or upload packages.  Most of them do not
even have access to the package server.
The downloadable packages are built and uploaded automatically by a cluster
of servers that do little else.

If a particular port does not have a corresponding package it is generally
not due to laxness on anybodys part.

The main reasons why a port might not have corresponding package are:

1) The port has just been created and the package hasn't had time to built
   yet.  Normally a very temporary situation. 

2) Legal restrictions.  There are several ports where it is simply not legal
   for the FreeBSD project to distribute the corresponding binary packages.

3) The port is currently broken and cannot be built. (This is of course a
   bug which should be fixed as soon as possible.  For ports without a
   maintainer that might take a while.)

4) One or more of the dependencies of the package is not available as a
   package.  (If port A depends on port B, and there does not exist a
   package for B (for any of the reasons listed here) there will not be
   a package of A either.

> An alternate solution to this problem is to allow users to upload missing
> packages to the package server direct or to a staging ftp server so port/pkg
> management staff can review first and them populate the production package
> server.

All the packages that can be built and distributed are already being built
and uploaded.  Allowing users to upload packages would not help.

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se

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