Suggesting a new experimental fork for ports tree

John Marino freebsdml at
Wed Jun 12 20:08:26 UTC 2013

On 6/12/2013 20:04, Jože Zobec wrote:
> I have a suggestion, which may help decrease the time needed for certain
> ports to enter into the ports tree.

Do you have an example handy of the type of ports that would benefit 
from this?  Like the names of specific ports or proposed ports?

> Currently there are more than 150 new ports waiting to be accepted into the
> ports tree (those PRs still remain open). Some of them are awaiting
> confirmation even from 2010.

I'm not a committer, I contribute and maintain ports from time to time. 
  So as somebody on your team, I'd guess that many of those 150 new 
ports have been glanced at and have something wrong with them.  I've had 
some just flat out not get claimed, but a single ping to the mail list 
after a few weeks took care of it for me.

I think it's generally a problem and I even started off a nice 
discussion about processing ports in order, but there are ways to move 
the ports along if the port itself isn't immediately appealing.

> I suggest an experimental fork of the ports tree, which would include
> volatile ports, that wouldn't necessarily build (or even if they did,
> building them could have a serious impact on the system), and people who
> would be checking out this fork could help debug them. Also, restrictions
> to get your port committed in this ports tree would be lesser -- it would
> be pretty easy for even a bad port to get inside, but until the port issues
> are resolved, the port would stay there (potentially indefinitely, unless
> the norms are met).

I have a good deal of experience with pkgsrc.  In fact, I have commit 
privileges for it.  They have a "sandbox" called WIP (work in progress) 
which is a similar idea.  The problem is that in my opinion, it's a 
liability and doesn't work.  Too many ports get left to rot, the ports 
that are there are generally pretty terrible quality.  If somebody wants 
to get credibility, I recommend getting a redports account instead.

So for the record, I absolutely oppose the idea of an experiemental 
tree.  It seems like a good idea, but in practice it's a distraction and 
a waste of time.  There are other ways to learn the ropes.


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