The ports collection has some serious issues

John Marino at
Thu Dec 15 16:46:54 UTC 2016

On 12/15/2016 10:31, Torsten Zuehlsdorff wrote:
> On 15.12.2016 17:00, John Marino wrote:
>> It is every week.  Consider the FreeBSD forums as well.
> No, it isn't. Lets check the history. This is just a general statement.
> portmaster was added 2006 and the portstree startet in 1994.

Can you agree that if you combine both this list and issues that arise 
on the FreeBSD forums that portmaster users talk about problems 
frequently?  Does it matter if it's weekly or biweekly?  It seems to 
happen all the time on the forums, but I'm not going scan them to prove 
an exact frequency.

> I could. My colleague did some of them. :D Even i generate some of them.

As a side discussion I would like to know what they are and if they are 
valid for Synth as well.

> I see recommendations for poudriere or synth, but not for portmaster.
> And i give them too.

Unfortunately portmaster get a lot of positive press on the forums.

>> Portmaster is not maintained.  Since you put your name on it, you've
>> made not a single commit to the repository, much less a new release. Yet
>> there are PRs on it.
> No excuses here. You are right, but its another store. I approved a
> commit which than breaks portmaster even after very good testing. And
> that make me even more cautious. But also i'm not allowed to change the
> code or do changes by myself, so its no surprise its very hard and i
> considered to drop my maintainer line multiple times. Thats just beside
> that the code is not written in a way which supports testing. So there
> is a very big risk in every change. I started to rewrite it in an
> private repo, but since it works (i could close many PRs) it really is
> at the bottom of my list.

Interesting, but not surprising.  I know it was claimed to negate my 
good point that such a piece of software needs a maintainer, but it had 
to be somebody with deep level knowledge with both the capability and 
*authority* to make the changes.

So now users think it's maintained and have a false confidence in it. 
But with your name on it, I can't push for it to be marked "deprecated" 
(with no expiration, that's important) anymore.  It's a loophole.

>> Please, can we somehow discourage new people from starting on it?
>> Anybody with a machine that doesn't have a resources to run poudriere or
>> synth should not be building packages on that machine.
> I provide a poudriere server for my customers. Its not to nice to use,
> but they can configure it like the need and without the pressure on
> their own server. Maybe we need something like this to make it easier to
> abandon portmaster.

For i386 and amd64 users, synth does not require more resources than 
portmaster.  People on those platforms can't use "resources" as a reason 
not to use Synth.  From what I can tell, portmaster people hate what 
they consider unnecessary rebuilds which both poudriere and synth 
(currently [1]) do, but it's this avoidance of rebuilds that cause all 
their problems.

So providing them a poudriere service wouldn't solve that "problem" for 


[1] I've got it on my todo list to provide a new method that would 
eliminate the "my builder just rebuilt 150 packages, but pkg(8) only 
upgraded 2 packages" issue that some users don't want to see.  It's a 
lot more complicated than the conservative yet bulletproof approach 
currently used by poudriere and synth.

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