Dropping maintainership of my ports

Michel Talon talon at lpthe.jussieu.fr
Wed Apr 27 15:47:35 UTC 2011

Eitan Adler wrote:

> There is a lot of work that has to be done in the background even if
> no new ports are added. Things like the gmake upgrade and new ports
> features take a lot of time.  Furthermore adding a port seems to be a
> "trivial" task, however the committers have to (a) fix it up if it is
> formatted badly (b) test it in a tinderbox and only then (c) commit
> it. This takes more time than just "cvs commit". A lot of work has
> been done in recent years to make this process faster and I'm sure
> more could be done - but a lot of people don't realize how much work
> goes on behind the scenes

I think it is important to clean up ports because otherwise there is a
big burden on the FreeBSD organization, and also on each individual
user, when they upgrade their machine. I think on the other hand that
some ports are especially important, and don't always receive the care
they need, for reasons that i don't know. I have taken some time to look
at some ports in the "lang" category that are unmaintained or are
severely old.

I have noted that eiffel 13a is deprecated and has an expiration date.
Indeed i have found old copies of this software, and it seems that the
people doing it have disappeared someway. However at least one is now
listed as contributor to gobo-eiffel
which is not a freebsd port.
There is the "official" eiffelstudio port, which has a valid download
link but no maintainer, and smarteiffel which is maintained.

I am more interested by the cmucl lisp compiler. In the ports we can
find cmucl 19f which is maintained by Martin Cracauer, but is already
quite old, and there is no maintainer for cmucl-extras. In fact the
cmucl project does the work of providing precompiled stuff for various
architectures (the lisp compiler is written in lisp so can only be
compiled by a recent enough precompiled compiler, anyways) and in
particular one finds freebsd binaries here:
These binaries are compiled on freebsd_8.1, and there are two versions
the unicode version and the non-unicode version, plus the cmucl-extra
(localized messages, an adapted editor, called hemlock plus some

So my point is, how is it that cmucl freebsd version finds care and love
in the cmucl community, but that this does not extend to an adequate 
place in the freebsd ports? 

The other big lisp from the same ancestry, sbcl is better maintained,
since the last version is 1.0.47, while freebsd is at 1.0.43, that is 6
months old. These lisps are *very* important for their use in the CAS
software maxima, which is actively developed and used by a lot of people
(in ancient times the traditional compiler for maxima was gcl but it
seems it doesn't work well nowadays, and clisp is far too slow). But
they are also important for many other uses, and at this point i see an
important omission in the ports system. The "standard" way nowadys to
install lisp packages is to use quicklisp
and after that hundreds of applications can be installed automatically
in the same way as cpan does for perl modules. Instead there are a
select few lisp applications in the ports, which have a clisp and a sbcl
slave port. This is strange.


Michel TALON

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