portmaster: print /usr/ports/UPDATING on update

Michal Varga varga.michal at gmail.com
Sat Dec 25 14:02:22 UTC 2010

On Sat, 2010-12-25 at 12:16 +0100, David Demelier wrote:
> Hi,
> A lot of people always forget to read UPDATING (that's normal we'll are 
> humans).
> Each entry in UPDATING is like "AFFECTS: users of net-mgmt/flowd" so if 
> an update of net-mgmt/flowd is available and a *recent* entry in 
> UPDATING talks about then print the message.
> This can prevent a lot of breakage and useless noise on lists. What do 
> you think ?
> Merry Christmas and happy holidays !
> David.

Or there is another possibility - find someone vocal enough to finally
*enforce* all new entries to UPDATING to be machine readable. You
already slightly touched the issue - but what exactly one considers
"recent"? I've seen people that don't upgrade anything non-security
related for months and some even years, when not directly required as
dependency. And those are actually the cases when everything breaks
horribly in the end - I guess for obvious reasons.

It wouldn't be that hard to reqire all entries in updating to be in a
specific and meaningful format, i.e.

SEVERITY=1      # 0 = informational, 1 = critical/showstopper
COMMENT=Manually deinstall x11/somethingnolongercool and force recompile
devel/libstupid before upgrading to this version of Gnome


Then just let upgrade tools deal with the data as they want, i.e. some
really cool ones might show all entries between %my_version% and %
current_version% and based on severity, either optionally let users skip
over the warning -

* /This application no longer ships with skype-voice-whatever plugin,
please recheck your configuration/ doesn't really count as show stopping

- versus -

* Don't allow upgrade process to continue unless user explicitly
confirms "Yes, I've totally read that and just finished all the steps
required" for cases where there is guaranteed that upgrade *WILL* break
without following those steps first.

Something like this would finally make UPDATING an integral part of any
upgrade process, not just "some half-forgotten text file that one
*should* keep an eye on - but usually only after all hell broke loose".


Michal Varga,
Stonehenge (Gmail account)

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