Ports system quality

Doug Barton dougb at FreeBSD.org
Mon Aug 29 06:30:43 UTC 2011

On 08/28/2011 22:34, Michal Varga wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-08-28 at 21:00 -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
>> I think it would be a mistake to believe that we don't have any quality
>> control at all. I do think it's reasonable to ask whether what we have
>> is adequate, and if not, how can it be improved. That's why I'm
>> suggesting the stable ports tree idea as a step in that direction.
> Now to be a bit more clearer, I didn't mean it in the sense that anyone
> can (or will) happily commit random crap to ports just to be done with
> it and go to movies, that wasn't my intention to suggest.
> By quality control, I meant first *ensuring* that the new port version
> will actually do something meaningful, other than, say, segfault
> everything depending on it. And not introducing it to the general
> population before that is ensured. 

The point that I'm trying to get across is that by and large maintainers
already do that. The fact that in spite of those efforts problems still
happen is part and parcel of the vast complexity of the number of ports
that we have multiplied by the number of options.

That's not to say we can't (and shouldn't) do better.

> Testing only for "Does it still build?" won't help much anymore if the
> new version silently broke one of the APIs and while Apache still runs
> with it fine

Believe it or not, I understand that. :)  The problem is that extensive
run-time testing is not within the realm of possibility without an army
of volunteers. Do you want to organize that effort?

> Now where I'm trying to get by this:
> Either we want to have ports as a "big repository of colorful stuff that
> even builds", or we want to have some actual products that people can
> use after they build them. And that needs an additional level of quality
> control that FreeBSD currently, and horribly, lacks (patches welcome, I
> know).

That sounds like PC-BSD to me. (Seriously, give it a try)



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