[Request for Comments] Add a "AFFECT" relationship between ports

Conrad J. Sabatier conrads at cox.net
Wed Aug 24 10:08:07 UTC 2011

On Wed, 24 Aug 2011 09:27:27 +0100
Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk> wrote:

> On 24/08/2011 08:02, Luca Pizzamiglio wrote:
> > I'd explain the behavior with an example: nvidia-driver port.
> > During the installation process, this port moves the official Xorg
> > openGL installing the NVidia ones.
> > Removing nvidia-driver port, the old official libraries are
> > restored.
> nvidia-driver is pretty much a special case in the ports.  I think it
> (and its slave ports) are the only ports that do anything like that.
> Your idea is interesting however.  Do you have any other examples
> where this would apply?

Luca and I were discussing just that before he submitted this
proposal.  I have to admit that, other than the nvidia-driver port,
nothing else of a similar nature leaps to mind, but that doesn't
necessarily mean that such a beast isn't already lurking somewhere in
the ports tree, just waiting to be discovered/reported, nor does it
preclude the possibility of a similar situation arising in the future.

I don't know if the amount of effort needed to implement such a feature
can actually be justified at this point.  Luca and I didn't discuss any
actual implementation details, and to be honest, I'm not even sure
where one would begin.  But it does seem to me that there should be
*some* sort of standardized mechanism for dealing with cases like this,
rather than leaving it up to the user to improvise his own workaround.

Even with a well-posted advisory notice ("This port requires special
handling.  Here's what you have to do..."), one can't escape the
conclusion that this is one area where the ports collection simply
breaks down, or at least, breaks away from the usual convention of
supporting fully automated handling of the low-level details of
building a package.  To require this sort of hands-on intervention on
the user's part just seems to be completely contrary to the entire

The ports collection really is quite a marvel of ingenuity in dealing
with a lot of very complicated issues in a very methodical and
organized fashion.  It bothers me greatly to think that there's this one
weakness in an otherwise brilliant design.

Just my $.02 worth.  :-)

Conrad J. Sabatier
conrads at cox.net

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