Deprecation campaign

Charlie Kester corky1951 at
Thu Mar 17 18:14:06 UTC 2011

On Thu 17 Mar 2011 at 03:36:38 PDT Pietro Cerutti wrote:
>Well, this is not how it works. There are a lot of old ports which are
>not being developped upstreams anymore. Probably nobody is interested
>in maintaining those, because there's nothing to do to those ports
>other than fixing potential build problems. However, this doesn't imply
>that the port is useless or that nobody's interested in using it.  Not
>all consumers of FreeBSD ports follow ports at .
>I'd be very carful on killing ports. I agree on killing BROKEN ports
>where the distfiles are not fetchable anymore. In this case, nobody can
>benefit from having the (non working) port. But I wouldn't go further.
>And I'd welcome ANY effort to resurrect a port or make it workable
>again, even if it does not imply setting a real MAINTAINER.

I agree with you that a port shouldn't be deprecated simply because
there hasn't been much recent activity upstream.  Often that's simply an
indication that the software is mature and relatively bug-free.  It does
not in any way imply that the software is no longer useful.   (Think of
all the stuff in /usr/bin that hasn't changed in years!)

But I think the fact that many of the ports we're discussing in this
thread had become unfetchable from the MASTER_SITES listed in their
Makefiles is sufficient proof of the need for maintainers even when
upstream is idling.  Authors move their websites all the time, and they
take their projects with them.  Sometimes, perhaps as a cost-cutting
measure, they shut down their self-hosted sites and move their projects
to a repository like SourceForge.  Or maybe they just reorganize their
site, so that the downloads are now at a new address. So we see a need
for a MASTER_SITES update even when the upstream author hasn't done
anything that changes the distfile we need to download.

If, as you say, these old ports don't require much work from a
maintainer, I don't see why anyone who wants to keep them in the
portstree should hesitate to put his name on them.

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