Port updating instructions and portmaster -a

M K ibdmbk at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 1 07:06:02 UTC 2010


As posted to: http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=19789

I'd like to express my feedback generally to port maintainers.

The upgrade instructions posted in /usr/ports/UPDATING are generally
excellent. And they can probably be enhanced to better serve users of
your ports. Specifically,

portmaster -a


portupgrade -a

as a port update instruction is imprecise at best and inadvisable at worst.

The command would rebuild all ports for which a newer version exists in
the ports tree. However, that includes even ports which do not have a
dependency on or any relation at all to your port. And the user may have
good reasons for refusing to install the newest version of any port
unrelated to yours.

In addition, the command may not be entirely sufficient. If a dependent
port were to be updated first, before your port, then

portmaster -a

might not rebuild a dependent port if it were up to date.

At the very least a choice of two options would be great. A less
specific command of

portmaster -a

in addition to a more specific command of

portmaster -R -r

- or the equivalents - would probably be a big help at little cost. And
if the former were truly appropriate, then a brief explanation why would
help the users better gauge the impact of change.

Given the time, the users could pick and choose which ports to update.
Keep in mind not everyone has yet acquired expert skill. But multiply
those man-hours spent by the hundreds of thousands or millions, and you
will probably agree that better and more specific update instructions
will save countless hours and best serve your user base.

Sincerely, and thanks for your consideration.


More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list