[FreeBSD-Ports-Announce] Time to bid farewell to the old pkg_ tools

Kevin Oberman rkoberman at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 23:57:28 UTC 2014

On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM, Matthias Andree <matthias.andree at gmx.de>wrote:

> Am 05.02.2014 23:02, schrieb Julian H. Stacey:
> > Matthew Seaman wrote:
> >> On 03/02/2014 21:24, Julian H. Stacey wrote:
> >>>> be beneficial in a very short amount of time.  Even if you prefer to
> >>>> compile from source,
> >>> =20
> >>> I use source, rarely if ever use packages, (except pkg_delete
> >>> to remove old broken dependencies). No opinion which scrips are
> better.=
> >>
> >>> =20
> >>> =20
> >>>> you will still reap the benefits of the modern
> >>>> packaging system.
> >>> =20
> >>> In 10.0 FreeBSD `reaped the benefit` of a default new horrible
> >>> registry that smells like Microsoft with quasi binary local.sqlite
> >>> needing special tools.  (Yes I know there's an export function.)
> >>> =20
> >>> For 2 decade we've poured scorn on Microsoft & its opaque easily
> >>> damaged hard to access registry, & lauded how with FreeBSD we can
> >>> examine & manipulate & repair our text based equivalent with any
> >>> number of personal choice text tools, & now FreeSBD is burdened by
> >>> this horrible Microsoft style registry.
> >>
> >> You're being absurd.
> >
> > Immediately personal criticism is a poor way to start convincing.
> >
> > ports/ is not just for package addicts.  I never install packages,
> > but only build & install from ports/.  sqlite junk obstructs
> > /var/db/pkg being accessed by find & grep to debug breaking ports builds.
> While I have wanted a few of the pkg options to be 100% compatible with
> the pkg_info options, I never felt the need to dig around in the package
> system innards other than to debug goofups that originated in the
> package system itself.  Especially not to debug breaking port builds.
> portmaster has made things quite easy when dealing with source builds.
> While I think this discussion is getting a bit emotional, I would like to
point out a few things that some posters may not know.

1. The ports/packages system is not total crap. In fact, at the time jkh
started it, it was far superior to any tool available.

2. sqlite and mysql were not available at the time it was written. If there
had been a solid, properly licensed RDBMS, I strongly suspect it would have
been used.

3. While the system has evolved a great deal since it came to FreeBSD about
20 years ago (just a rough guess), it was really in need of an overhaul.
Anyone who has used apt knows just how creaky is has become. (Not that I am
crazy about apt. I find that it has some very unpleasant issues. I think
pkgng is clearly superior.)

4. I will also miss the ASCII pkgdb.  I will either live without it or
write a small script to pull the relevant data out of the db and create a
"limited"  db that contains the data I need for my scripts that it. (I
would only need to fill in a few fields and most scripts can be placed by
pkg commands which are very flexible and powerful. pkg does a LOT more than
the old pkg_ system. Of course, you will have to actually read limited
documentation and the pkg help. (Far more complete than the last time I
looked at the documentation.)

I have long advocated for using the simplest, lowest overhead DB that will
o the job and use flat ASCII DBs often. Too many developers seem to think
that Oracle or is always the right answer for any DB and I'm sure Larry
agrees. but really doing the ports/packages system write simply goes beyond
what an ASCII DB is suited for. sqlite look like a very good fit for the

5. The introduction of pkgng could have really been handled better and that
probably increased the negative feelings about it. It was also a bit before
it was really ready. It still lacks a few features I feel are quite
important, but they were also missing from the old system.

On the whole, bapt and company have done a remarkable job that was really
needed. It goes way beyond what any other package system I have seen can
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer, Retired
E-mail: rkoberman at gmail.com

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