new source of broken ports

Scott Bennett bennett at
Wed Feb 19 00:59:55 UTC 2014

     Recently I upgraded my system from 8.2-STABLE to 9.2-STABLE and began
the arduous process of rebuilding all of the previously installed ports.
As I have come to expect over the years, the loss of many such ports when
crossing a major release boundary resulted in a great deal of intervention
on my part in order to restart portmaster after encountering each newly
broken or deprecated port.  However, this time there seemed to be a
considerably larger percentage of the total that fell into this group.  In
a few cases, I was able to fetch and install a package as a substitute,
although in general I would rather have had the port built and tuned to
my hardware.  The packages I installed in these situations were usually
not up-to-date versions, and sometimes that fact made them unsatisfactory
to dependent ports, thus preventing those dependent ports from being built
     While dealing with all the broken ones, I noticed that a fairly large
number of them, on the order of the overall increase in breakage compared to
earlier major release crossings, appeared to be broken not in the building or
the installation processes, but in an apparently new step in which a backup
package of the newly built port is made.  The packaging failed for several
possible reasons, the most common of which was that files were not where tar(1)
was told to find them.  In some cases of failure during this packaging step,
the software had already been successfully installed, so I now have quite a
few ports installed and usable for which there is no record in /var/db/pkg.
At least one of these came through today, too (shells/pdksh).  No record of
them means they will not be updated automatically in the future.
     A large number of updates to docbook ports also came through today whose
packaging step failed due to bad plist information, yielding errors like

pkg_create: read_plist: unknown command '@dirrmtry share/xml/docbook' (package tools out of date?)
pkg_create: read_plist: unknown command '@dirrmtry share/doc/docbook-sk' (package tools out of date?)
pkg_create: write_plist: unknown command type -1 (share/xml/docbook)
*** [do-package] Error code 1

After dealing with the first three or four of these, I'm now running portmaster
with "-x docbook" (in addition to "-x pdksh" and several others).
     Unless I missed it in the man page, portmaster offers no option to skip
the packing step for the newly built port, so it is unclear how to get these
ports properly installed and recorded in /var/db/pkg.

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:   bennett at   *or*   bennett at   *
* "A well regulated and disciplined militia, is at all times a good  *
* objection to the introduction of that bane of all free governments *
* -- a standing army."                                               *
*    -- Gov. John Hancock, New York Journal, 28 January 1790         *

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