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

Guido Falsi madpilot at FreeBSD.org
Mon Jun 26 07:27:47 UTC 2017

On 06/26/17 00:32, Dave Hayes wrote:
> On 06/23/2017 01:53, Guido Falsi wrote:
>> If your model works fine I'm quite sure the FreeBSD community and
>> project will be quite happy to embrace it.
> ...
>> 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.
> The fallacy in your suggestion to "do it yourself" is that the others
> who are actually working and committing on ports are far more efficient
> at implementing these ideas than the rest of us.
> I've never seen someone who says "do it yourself if you want it
> different" actually take into account that the expertise and experience
> of the people currently doing it result in a far lower manpower cost,
> sometimes by orders of magnitude.

I only partly agree with what you say, but anyway insisting on the
mailing lists with individual committers, and defending a general idea
ignoring all the details, dismissing the actual problems in the detailed
implementation that are raised by committers is not going to get much done.

It has also been suggested here to write a full blown, planned and
though out proposal to be submitted via the new "FreeBSD Community
Process" [1], which could be much more effective.

Such a proposal should specify required resources with a decent degree
os precision, procedures, tools and instruments needed and also has to
address what is to be done in all the corner cases that can be foreseen
too(providing examples of such corner cases is besides the point here,
but there are many).

I think is someone really wants something different from the ports tree
than what is provided now the effort to exactly describe it is the only
viable way to get something done.
> To be absolutely clear, I'm not demanding or insisting on anything here
> out of ports maintainers or FreeBSD. I can and do support myself, when I
> am able. I'm merely pointing out ideas which may not be immediately
> visible to the people in this thread.

The what you need to do, being a full blown implementation too much for
a single person, is write out a complete proposal and submit it for
review. A general idea for a "stable ports branch" or "release ports
branches" is too much generic and can attract only criticism, because
most committers have already had such generic ideas and dismissed it due
to the many problems that would come from it (quarterlies show some of
those). But maybe you can build a better proposal which avoids or solves
those problems.

I'd say the difficult part in such a problem is not in the idea but in
the boring details of it's implementation and long term maintenance.

[1] https://github.com/freebsd/fcp/blob/master/fcp-0000.md

Guido Falsi <madpilot at FreeBSD.org>

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