The ports collection has some serious issues

John Marino at
Sat Dec 17 16:45:09 UTC 2016

abi wrote:
> I tried to switch from portmaster to synth yesterday. Tests was
> sponsored by zfs snapshots.
> I still have strong opinion that synth IS NOT replacement for portmaster
> and not usable at all.
> Yes, synth build ports, however it's just builds them. I don't receive
> information:
> 1. Why it builds exactly this list of ports, what has changed when I
> upgraded my ports.

What you are apparently saying is that Synth wants to rebuild certain 
ports after you update your ports tree and you want the exact reaason 
why.  That reasoning is available via the WHYFAIL environment variable 
and the new 06_obsolete_packages.log file.

Unless you're hunting for bugs in synth, this information is "just for 
fun".  If your goal is to not rebuild packages when synth (and 
poudriere) say they must be rebuilt, then yes, portmaster is for you 
along with the consequences.

> 2. It doesn't provide dialog for port options, so
> 2.1 I don't receive information if port options have changed. I don't
> know what else will be pulled to my system after port tree update.

which of course is a false statement.
If you set port options which then change, Synth will stop and tell you 
to reconfigure or remove the saved port options.

> 2.2 If I make option files for all ports, synth fails to rebuild
> repository if port and it's options are out of sync.

yes, of course.  If you give it impossible instructions, it will stop 
and ask you to fix them.  Any reasonable person would want to be 
informed when the options are incorrect.  Did you also notice that 
extended use of portmaster resulted in dozens of obsolete options files 
that you weren't aware of?  So your criticism here is that you think 
Synth should just ignore these bad configurations?

> 2.3 When port infrastructure switch to newer default version I must be
> aware that this change occur and set damn options for new default port.

Another false statement.
The ports framework has a DEFAULT_VERSIONS support which you can 
override via a profile mk.conf, just as poudriere does.  Doing so avoid 
surprises.  There is also an UPDATING file in the ports tree but that's 
more for portmaster and portupgrade users.

> So, synth is just a dumb port building tool. If you need your own port
> options you are in risk. Developer of synth said that the problem is in
> my 'portmaster thinking' I should change.

An absurd assertion spoken loudly by someone that is ill-informed on the 

> Fuck it. Until synth gets interactive mode. Probably I will switch to
> Linux (yes, I know nobody cares) if the ability to keep custom port
> options will be lost. The only tool for this now is portmaster.

Regardless of how factually incorrect your evaluation of the other tools 
are, you have the freedom to make this choice.

> Maybe it's my 'portmaster thinking' but I don't understand how one can
> use synth if he or she want at least be slightly aware what's going on
> in his/her system.

Because everyone else used synth (or poudriere) long enough to 
understand how those tools actually work.


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