Ports system quality

Doug Barton dougb at FreeBSD.org
Mon Aug 29 07:17:15 UTC 2011

On 08/29/2011 00:07, Michal Varga wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-08-28 at 23:30 -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
>>> 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?
> That would be the very opposite of the concept I just described. While
> extensive volunteer testing, if considered standalone, is surely not a
> bad idea (just that for some reason it never happens anywhere), it lies
> in a completely different scope than port maintainers *not* randomly
> upgrading dependencies just on their own without regard to other ports
> they will affect (and in many cases break, be it on build level, or
> run-time level).

Ok, I'll be more blunt. We don't do that on purpose, obviously. But
expecting maintainers to do what you're describing is unrealistic. The
only thing it would accomplish is a "stable" ports tree because nothing
would ever get updated. :)

Seriously ... I get what you're saying, I'm not even saying it's a bad
idea, I'm just saying that we lack the person-power to do it now, and
are unlikely to ever get to that point. I would also point out that from
a project management standpoint developers rarely make good QA people.
To do this right you really would want separate teams.

>>> 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)
> Now that's like saying I might want to try *Linux and OS X too (I
> occasionally use both, just not as my primary desktop, which is
> FreeBSD).

Those are good alternatives as well. I use FreeBSD as my desktop, but
it's painful, and I wouldn't do it at all if I didn't need to.

FreeBSD needs to get better in this area, but I seriously doubt it will
ever be as easy and painless as something like ubuntu.

> Speaking about PC-BSD, I'm not exactly fan of KDE

They have other alternatives now.

> and also, I find the concept of PBI packages highly offending.

Well that's just silly, but I'm not going to argue this point, I've
spent enough time on this thread already.

> Then again, I can't see how
> would PC-BSD help in this case as it's the exact opposite of what I
> described. The fact that PC-BSD just tracks ports and builds
> self-contained packages from them

And you're sure that's all they do? Seriously, I think you should give
it another look.



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