Newbie maintainer, question regarding patches

Michael Scheidell scheidell at
Fri Feb 24 13:49:24 UTC 2012

First, welcome!

Thank you for stepping up to the plate and taking on ownership of a port.
It is greatly appreciated.

As for pr's, yes, keep sending them.  Your patches still need to be 
committed to the ports tree by a committer.
When you send in a maintenance patch, subject should/could be something 
like [MAINTAINER PATCH] devel/ice, class of maintainer-update, sent from 
your maintainers email address.
owner will be auto set to freebsd-ports-bugs, with state of 'open'.

A committer, looking through the gnats database will look for 
freebsd-ports-bugs/state of open, and maybe maintainer-update.
The committer will take a quick look at your pr, does it describe 
why/what/where? is the patch a nice clean patch?
Then, they will take the pr, set responsible to themselves, and you will 
get an email from GNATS.
Committer will apply your patch, run something like portlint -abt, run 
it in a tinderbox, and if it looks good, commit your patch, or something 
similar, and close pr.
If they have questions, they will reply back to gnats, set state to 
followup, and wait for your answer.
Maybe they will ask to submit a radically different patch, or will 
change something to make pkg-plist better, or clean up lingering 
portlint issues.

if someone else submits a pr, you will get a GNATS email, with a link to 
pr, and pr will be set to state of 'feedback', waiting for you to look 
over the pr, and/or reply back to GNATS that you approve, you don't 
approve, you need more information, or want the pr to be closed because 
you won't fix whatever it is.

Look at the patch submitted, does it follow FreeBSD ports/maintainers 
best practices?  does it fix a real problem, or only a 'local' issue?
Test patch, does it fix the problem? is it upward compatible, run your 
port with new patch, make sure it doesn't break anything.

Do you have/or need a tinderbox to test in?  this way you won't mess up 
your environment while doing the initial testing. Look to redports for a 
public tinderbox.

as for big/vs lots of little patches, usually your choice.  as a 
committer, I look for a good patch, if your patch is one big patch, fine.

and the 'extra-patch' can follow 'extra-patch' guidelines, and use a 
knob, the default is up to you, but unless 95% of the people need the 
extra patch, consider the upward compatibility issues.

And, always, ask questions in ports at .

Many of us would rather answer questions here, than need to fix a broken 
update later.

Thanks again.
(not officially speaking for anyone, since no one officially speaks for 
FreeBSD, keep that in mind, all answers and suggestions, YMMV, and are 
as trustworthy as any other answer you get on the internet)

Michael Scheidell, CTO
o: 561-999-5000
d: 561-948-2259
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