ports versus packages

Adam blueeskimo at gmx.net
Thu May 22 21:48:23 PDT 2003

On Fri, 2003-05-23 at 00:14, David Banning wrote:
> I was talking to a debian Linux guy the other day who preferred debians'
> precompiled packages because, as he put it, "you just load it, and go,
> and it always works -."
> What is the benifit for us to compile versus just installing the package?
> - and how come we tend to use the pre-compiled packages less than some
> of our fellow *nix users? - (at least that's my perception)

To state the obvious, there are two reasons why someone would compile a
port instead of installing a precompiled binary:

1) You get to customize how the software is compiled, as well as what
modules are linked in (eg, Mozilla)

2) You feel comfortable that the resulting binary is the compiled
version of the source you started with, which is directly reviewable.

Both of these reasons are major aspects of the open software movement. I
think the reason why Linux users prefer precompiled packages is that
they've somewhat lost the spirit of open source software. The Linux
community these days is flooded with Microsoft-bashing kiddies that just
want to be cool, but don't really care much about the 'beauty' of *nix.
This is why you see most people using Redhat, SuSE, and Mandrake.

Of course, this is just my opinion. However, I do find that BSD people
are much more intellectually and philosophically connected to the
movement than our Linux friends.

Adam <blueeskimo at gmx.net>
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