The ports collection has some serious issues

Shane Ambler FreeBSD at ShaneWare.Biz
Mon Dec 12 06:36:47 UTC 2016

On 12/12/2016 13:12, Janky Jay, III wrote:
> Hello scratch,
> On 12/11/2016 03:35 PM, scratch65535 at wrote:
>> I have to admit that I avoid ports if at all possible because
>> I've hardly ever been able to do a build that ran to completion.
>> There's always some piece of code that's missing and can't be
>> found, or is the wrong version, et lengthy cetera.   I've never
>> done release engineering, but I honestly can't imagine how some
>> of the stuff that makes its way into the ports tree ever got past
>> QA.  It would get someone sacked if it happened in industry.
>> If the dev schedule would SLOW DOWN and the commitment switched
>> to quality from the current emphasis on frequency, with separate
>> trees for alpha-, beta-, and real release-quality, fully-vetted
>> code, the ports system might become usable again.

Note that there are over 26000 ports, over 1600 port maintainers and
hundreds of third party projects get updated every day. While the port
maintainers spend a good portion of their spare time trying to keep it
building there will be times that some ports fail to build.

The HEAD of the ports svn repo is for the cutting edge development, a
quarterly branch is created every three months and is only updated to
receive security and build or runtime fixes during that time.

The quarterly ports has been setup for a couple of years but doesn't
seem to be documented well, or it just isn't obvious to find. You can
use svn to checkout a stable branch by specifying a branch name, such as
ports/branches/2016Q4 instead of ports/head. You can also adjust pkg to
use the quarterly ports by changing the pkg repo URL from${ABI}/latest to${ABI}/quarterly

> 	This very, VERY rarely happens to me and I use ports *ONLY* in
> production environments. If you could please provide examples and report
> the issues to the port maintainer of the ports with issues, that would
> greatly help this situation. (Please don't take this as an insult or
> anything other than trying to be helpful...) Simply complaining about it
> without providing any additional information is certainly not going to
> improve anything.

I would say this rarely happens with the default setup, the more port
options you change the more likely it is something will break.

FreeBSD - the place to B...Software Developing

Shane Ambler

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