FreeBSD unmaintained ports which are currently scheduled for deletion

Mikhail T. mi+thun at
Thu Aug 25 16:19:23 UTC 2011

On 25.08.2011 08:48, Chris Rees wrote:
> On 24 August 2011 14:47, Mikhail T.<mi+thun at>  wrote:
>> Can it be unbroken by using the Internet archive?
>> ...
>> If so, quite a few other victims of this latest purging can be given a new
>> life.

> Matthias recently made reference on this subject, if you care to take a look:

Thanks for the pointer. I disagree with Matthias very strongly on this -- and 
made my disagreement known in the past. It remains my deeply-held opinion, that 
only those ports, which fail to build, ought to be removed from the tree. I'm 
happy to learn, amdmi3@ is of similar persuasion. Matthias warns, that 
"something we mirrored years ago" could be missing "crucial patches" -- but 
that's inevitable even with actively-maintained ports, and FreeBSD, wisely, 
makes no promises of software quality or security.

Matthias' proposal to remove "unmaintained" ports makes it impossible to find a 
PERFECT program, port it and wash one's hands away from it. Sooner or later 
somebody will come to claim, your software is "too old" and thus /could/ contain 
security holes, and therefor must be removed. Because we have "too many" ports 
or something.

Perhaps more importantly, Matthias' argument is different from the problem at 
hand -- he seems to dislike old distfiles, but the current campaign targets not 
the old pieces, but those, for which the master-sites' have disappeared. For 
example, the sources of audio/adpcm date to 1994, but the port only got into 
trouble, when the FTP-site hosting it disappeared from the Internet... Likewise, 
sysutils/cpuburn's sources are from 2003, but the port arose no questions, until 
AT&T discontinued subscribers' web-spaces (where the author was hosting the 
distfile) two months ago...

Do we really want to allow ISPs to affect the contents of our ports collection 
in this manner?

If we were really ruled by consensus, these unfortunate ports would've stayed 
because, evidently, there is no consensus, as Dmitry and Matthias discuss at the 
very beginning of the e-mail you linked to...

It appears, that the rule currently being applied, is: "remove, if there are no 
master-sites other than FreeBSD's mirrors" (the deprecation messages state 
something else, but this is the real meaning). Though this rule is refreshingly 
objective, I still don't like it -- FreeBSD claimed "there is a port for it" 
long before the catchy "there is an app for it", and this remains a major 
"selling" point for the OS.

But, if the rule's application is unstoppable, then I'd save most of the victims 
of the current purge by switching them to It can even be done 
automatically by a clever script... Yours,


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