The ports collection has some serious issues

Torsten Zuehlsdorff tz at
Thu Dec 15 17:01:09 UTC 2016

On 15.12.2016 17:46, John Marino wrote:
> 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?

Yes, of course. I wasn't serious with this point and just want to 
degrade a little of the emotion to get back to a more technical and 
solvable level.

>> 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.

Good question. I will ask my colleague to check; hopefully he does it also.

>> 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.

Okay, that is just the opposite of the mailinglist. For bugzilla we have 
the helpful team around koops, which adjust the PRs. Maybe we should 
install something like that for the forum? Or just print a warning 
whenever portmaster is used (which would be much easier). We even can 
automatically link the word portmaster to an website, which gives more 
information and some warning.

>>> 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.

A breakable loophole. Since i figured out, that a complete rewrite would 
be a better solution, than the permanent danger of an very hard to test 
software, we can drop my name from it.

>>> 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
> them.

It does. Since they are not aware of the "unnecessary" rebuilds, its no 
"problem" anymore.  If you have to watch rebuilding 150 ports just for 
an update of 2 ports, its a complete different story. If pkg only update 
2 ports and you can't see the work behind them, everything is fine. Its 
a little bit psychological.


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