value of maintaining emacs-mode packages in ports

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Sun Nov 23 23:49:52 UTC 2014


On Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 12:32:14AM +0100, Christopher J. Ruwe wrote:
> I am well aware that very probably I might be starting a rant thread,
> however, I am genuinely interested in opinions from the community.
> 
> Since version 24, Emacs, the very good operating system missing only a
> decent editor, has developed a package manager for Emacs
> extensions. Some good repos exist, packages are usually installed to
> ~/.emacs.d and I have come to really enjoy that way of installing
> packages.
> 
> In that light and as the ports maintainer of math/ess, the Emacs
> speaks statistics R-mode of emacs, I am asking myself specifically
> whether I add any real benefit in maintaining math/ess. More
> generally, I am interested in community answers as to whether it is
> really useful to maintain Emacs-extension-packages in ports.
> 
> Thanks for your thoughts, cheers,

It might help to see this question in a broader context.

There are several communities that have there own repositories/package
managers these days, e.g:

* TeX
* Perl
* Python
* Ruby
* Node
* Emacs

Yet the maintainers of the ports system go through the effort of maintaining
ports for a lot of these packages, even though it might strictly speaking be
considered a duplication of effort.

There are at least two big reasons that I can think of;

1) FreeBSD specific patches are necessary to build a package. (I.e. every port
   that has a files subdirectory.) The ports tree is arguably the right place
   for that. The best case would be that such changes are merged upstream, but
   that doesn't always happen.
2) A foreign package might depend on a FreeBSD port or the other way
   around. How could this be handled properly if not in the ports tree?
   So by its very nature, if you want to reap the benefits of the ports
   infrastructure for your package, you have to *use* said infrastructure.

Packages that *can* install in a user's $HOME directory and have no
non-obvious dependencies are the exception to this rule, I think. No one will
expect e.g. a vim bundle to do anything useful when vim is not installed!

But such packages are obviously only available to the user that has installed
them. So for a multi-user installation a port would still make more sense.


Roland
-- 
R.F.Smith                                   http://rsmith.home.xs4all.nl/
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