ports/155759 - bad reasons for ports removal -- again

Matthias Andree mandree at FreeBSD.org
Mon May 23 15:24:03 UTC 2011

Am 23.05.2011 16:13, schrieb Mikhail T.:
> On 23.05.2011 06:42, Matthias Andree wrote:

>> In your particular case, you as the maintainer remained silent on the
>> relevant PR although Erwin and I have pointed you to it on March 21st

> This is true -- I was silent on the PR. My earlier objection was to my
> alleged "silence" on ports@

Please insert blank lines between quotes and replies.

>> and your ports were broken since the db2 removal in April.
> Yes, they were. The person(s) behind that gratuitous removal is/are
> responsible for the breakage of tcl-neo*

Yes. See below.  It may be hard to see one's former work go away.  I
understand that this causes hard feelings, and I thank you for the past
work you've done.

Still, if the port itself is way outdated and had to be patched up so it
could creep forward in spite of promises to fix issues such as the
dependency mixes, that is a technical observation and reason for removal.

> Both were maintained in the ports as much as was needed to ensure
> successful builds -- until some busybody came along to remove the
> perfectly functional databases/db2 -- on bogus grounds.

"Perfectly functional" is what you call a library that has been outdated
for a dozen years, and superseded by 14 releases since.
And these weren't feature releases, with very few exceptions.

> "maintained" and should not be removed. All other reasons: "too old",
> "not used by anybody I know", etc. are subjective and are based of
> non-existent statistics. Though tcl-neo* themselves stopped building,
> this was a result of the (gratuitous) removal of db2 -- and whoever was
> behind that removal, was supposed to fix the fallout, or, better yet,
> find some other application for their energy.

"Not used by anybody I know" is not my argument, and to avoid just that,
two months of time for technical objection were granted before the removal.

And I have spent effort to upgrade db3-only applications over the past
weeks so that I could remove db3 earlier today.  (mail/spamprobe is
currently broken for different reasons, namely libpbl C++
incompatibilities).  For db2 I suspected what you've confirmed: no users
left for this abandoned software.

> That a package is discontinued up-stream is not a good reason for
> removal at all -- not until you remove games/bsdgames and the entire
> KDE3 (for just some examples)...

The packages in questions were not only discontinued more than ten years
ago, but in the case of Berkeley DB 2.7.7, superseded as well.

> That said, I'm not insisting, the ports be resurrected and will not be
> doing it myself out of spite. I'm no longer using the software, and
> neither does the client, for whom I originally ported it. But I don't
> like this drive to remove working ports, in which the energetic removers
> see no value personally, and restate this position again because,
> evidently, certain active decision-makers weren't aware of it...

There's more to come in the way of Berkeley DB port cleanups... we've
still got more than a dozen, and that needs to change.  We can get along
with a lot less, see pkgsrc.org or your typical Linux distro, and we
should do that, to remove the strain on sysadmins of pinning Berkeley DB
versions.  That would be more of a user service than forcefully keeping
clinically-dead ports alive.

Best regards,

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