"stable" ports?

Alexander Churanov alexanderchuranov at gmail.com
Tue Mar 30 18:16:02 UTC 2010

Hi folks,

* Updates which break shared libraries would not be allowed within such
> a branch/overlay (i.e. no updating gnome 2.xx to 2.x(x+1), libpng,
>  libjpeg, xorg).

The easiest way to accomplish this  is to replace FreeBSD with Ubuntu. I'm
not sure we really want this.

Personally, among other things I like FreeBSD for the ability to have most
recent software on a box with relatively high reliability. I always make fun
of Linux users, who need a full OS upgrade to get new Emacs or httpd.

To be specific, I'm against having "frozen stable" branch with only security
updates and the "current unstable" branch. Most GNU/Linux distros already
work this way. Do you want the FreeBSD to "always just follow" or "go in

I think, that the following is necessary for FreeBSD to be competitive :

1) Have a "frozen" branch for each release with only security fixes - for
conservative enterprise users, migrating from RedHat
2) Have the "current unstable" ports in head - only for maintainers
3) Provide a "quite-current stable" snapshot of ports from time to time, say
2-3 months.

4) The "quite-current stable" port releases should not be strict on
calendar, but tied to updates of "huge base" packages (kde, xorg, png).
Ports should be published when we succeeded with fixing them.

5) To minimize additional work on security issues I'd like to suggest using
GNU/Linux distros, specifically RedHat, - let them work for us! Of course,
brothers from OpenBSD should also be respected - they do much work in this

The strategy above would have following effects:

1) People using "release" packages will have security fixes in them. Linux
will not be better in this respect.

2) Please using port snapshots will get more reliable software updates than
now. This will create a unique experience of having quite recent and at the
same time consistent applications. We win!

3) Less stresses in the life of maintainer. Now I have to think about ports
reliability every time, with the new strategy I would treat ports in "head"
as "experimental" and work on stability only for port releases. Easier
updates, more consistency!

Alexander Churanov,
maintainer of devel/boost-*

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