reason 23 why we've moved to linux

Royce Williams royce at
Sat Mar 22 23:15:42 UTC 2014

On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Randy Bush <randy at> wrote:


> there will always be a few bugs.  otoh, with freebsd ports, there may be
> a few working paths, but they are damned hard to find.  and there is
> very viable competition.  many long time freebsd users are leaving, yes
> sadly, but leaving.  the window is closing.

I'm not endorsing Randy's bedside manner on this one ;-), but he's
correct that the pkg transition has been a bit of a POLA violation.
It assumes that people have the skill and time to hunt for shims and

pkg will be a great step forward for busy sysadmins -- but the
transition itself has been a failure of empathy for them.  Some poor
guy hops on his FreeBSD box to get a vulnerability patched -- and
steps on a landmine of indeterminate time expenditure with few
breadcrumbs.  Even if he *has* been monitoring the lists.

IMO, we should have waited until we could automatically handle common
failure modes of the transition.

To this day, I still have an 8.3 jail that complains:

    pkg: PACKAGESITE in pkg.conf is deprecated. Please create a
repository configuration file

... but I don't actually have a pkg.conf in that jail, and 'grep -r
PACKAGESITE /' yields no hits.

And why tell someone to create a file, without including a recommended
path?  Or better yet ... check to see if I already had one, and prompt
me to create one if I don't?

If FreeBSD built more tools that empathize with non-developers, they'd
have more time to develop. :-)


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