[RFC] Why FreeBSD ports should have branches by OS version

Guido Falsi madpilot at FreeBSD.org
Fri Jun 23 08:53:49 UTC 2017

On 06/23/17 10:26, demelier.david at gmail.com wrote:
> On Thu, 2017-06-22 at 11:57 -0700, Dave Hayes wrote:
>> Would you agree that release branches would be unnecessary if
>> somehow
>> you could select the version of node that the ports tree builds via
>> some
>> (as yet unspecified) mechanism?
> I've also think about that but I'm not sure if it's easier than having
> frozen release branches.

I usually stay away from this kind of threads, but I'd like to point out 
a very simple concept that has not been expressed.

The ports tree repository is fully open source, available via subversion 
from the FreeBSD project and also mirrored on github. There is 
absolutely nothing stopping you(and anyone with time, skill and 
willingness to help you) from starting your fork from whichever source 
and using whatever tool you prefer, creating the branches you're describing.

If your model works fine I'm quite sure the FreeBSD community and 
project will be quite happy to embrace it.

As stated, the FreeBSD project (core, portmgr and committers) perceive a 
manpower problem in relation to implementing what you describe. In this 
thread it has been stated that such a manpower problem does not really 
exist. I cannot think of a better way to show there actually is no 
manpower problem than creating a working example of such a workflow 
maintained by just a few people with little effort, as you said repeatedly.

On other hand demanding and/or insisting that others implement your idea 
when they clearly disagree with you is not very constructive.

In relation to the suggestion of a stable or release ports branch:

I'd also like a ports branch where things are merged only when really 
needed, some kind of "stable" branch. I don't like the release way you 
describe, but maybe it could actually work as an option, but I too see 
the manpower problem. An actual working proof of concept like I 
described above is the only thing that would persuade me I'm wrong about 

(I could try to help with such an experiment but I don't know how much 
time I could really spare for it)

Guido Falsi <madpilot at FreeBSD.org>

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