Reducing the size of the ports tree (brainstorm v2)

Chris H bsd-lists at
Fri Nov 7 17:47:13 UTC 2014

On Fri, 7 Nov 2014 09:08:28 +0000 Bartek Rutkowski <robak at> wrote

> On Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 6:56 PM, Baptiste Daroussin <bapt at> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > tijl@ spotted an interesting point, distinfo and pkg-descr files files
> > convenient are taking a lot of space for "free", we can reduce the size of
> > the while ports tree by a factor 2 by simply merging them into one of the
> > other files (Makefile and/or pkg-plist) from my testing it really devides
> > significantly the size of the tree.
> >
> > Problem is how to merge them if we want to.
> >
> > What we do not want to loose:
> > - Easyness of parsing distinfo
> > - Easyness to get informations about the description
> >
> > so far I have not been able to figure out a user friendly way
> >
> > Ideas I got so far only concerns pkg-descr:
> > Adding an entry in the Makefile for the WWW:
> > WWW= bla
> > or an entry in the plist: @www http...
> >
> > for the description the Makefile is not suitable as multi line entry in
> > Makefiles are painful
> > Maybe a new keyword:
> > @descr <<EOD
> > mydesc
> > in
> > multiline
> > EOD
> >
> > which could easily be added to the plist parser in pkg. But I'm do not find
> > that very friendly in particular for make(1) to extract the data.
> >
> > Concerning the distinfo I have no idea.
> >
> > so this mail is a call of ideas :), if nothing nice ideas is found we will
> > just do nothing here :)
> >
> > regards,
> > Bapt
> At first I liked the idea, since I was wondering on my own if
> pkg-descr and distinfo couldnt be simply part of the Makefile. In vast
> majority of cases that would look good and wouldnt introduce too much
> content into existing Makefiles. There are ports like www/nginx or
> www/tengine that have enourmous distinfo files with number of entries
> that would ruin readability of their Makefiles, but so far I havent
> seen too many of these so I suppose they'd be the liveable drawbacks
> of new approach.
> However, after reading this discussion and some more tinkering about
> the idea I changed my mind - if the goal of current pkg&ports
> activities is to make the pkg the default way of installing packages
> and 'deprecate' ports when that happens,
Aak! Seriously?! Eliminate ports? I _sincerely_ hope that isn't the
intended result of the introduction of pkg(8). That would be a
_horrible_ decision. For more reasons than I can list in a mailing
list reply. Honestly. If this is true, has any real thought gone into
the potential consequences resulting from this? We're not just talking
about the affects on "geeks", and "hobbyists" here. We're talking about
Shops, and Businesses that create specific products, for specific needs,
and chose *BSD for what at least _was_ the freedom, and amount of
_choices_ it offered. Making it, by comparison, more _flexible_ than
it's alternatives. You'll effectively eliminate that market, traveling
in the direction you appear to be going.
If what I understand you to be saying is true. It appears FreeBSD is
simply looking to parrot Linux, and relinquish "The power to serve".
In exchange for competing for a strictly Desktop market. If true.
This will mark a very dark year in history, for FreeBSD.


> then the amount of work and
> the risk of breaking things by doing this ports improvement outweights
> its benefits. At this point I'd much rather like us to concentrate on
> making pkg a perfect replacement (I am mostly thinking about being
> able to package base for stripped down FreeBSD builds and pkg
> 'flavours' that would allow me install packages with custom options,
> like ports) and hold off making any changes to ports until we can
> safely state that 'pkg is the way to go for 99% of FreeBSD users and
> ports are for that 1% of package builders, nerds, tinkerers' etc.,
> unless we simply cant move forward without some change. And just to be
> sure, I am not against improving ports, but rather about making better
> choice of where to put our limited resources - I am supper happy to
> get back to this discussion once we can replace ports with pkg :)
> Kind regards,
> Bartek Rutkowski
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