[RFC/P] Port System Re-Engineering (Repost from -ports@)

cpghost cpghost at cordula.ws
Mon Dec 3 07:19:02 PST 2007

On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 09:19:15 -0500
"Aryeh M. Friedman" <aryeh.friedman at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Repost from -ports@]

[Please don't cross-post from questions@ to stable@ and current at ...]

> 3. What is the single best aspect of the current system?

That you can add custom patches to the csup-ped ports tree.

> 4. What is the single worst aspect of the current system?

Actually a few points:

 * Some ports lag behind current versions quite a lot while
   others are diligently updated as upstream does so. We need
   more port maintainers for those less-often updated ports.

 * gcc's performance for C++ is dismal: compiling big ports
   like Firefox/Thunderbird, JDKs, KDE/Qt, OpenOffice takes
   AGES, esp. on older and slower hardware. This is particularly
   painful when those ports undergo only very minor revisions.

 * portupgrade's/pkgdb requires way too much user-input to
   fix dependencies etc..; it's not a problem for experienced
   users, but newbies don't know how to reply to pkgdb's cryptic
   questions. I wished instructions for portmaster were added
   to those for portupgrade in /usr/ports/UPDATING more often.

 * Python ports are not versioned. When multiple versions
   of Python are installed simultaneously, it should be possible
   to install py24-* and py25-* ... ports simultaneously too.

What I'd really wish to see happen: versioned ports! Say, you
need portcategory/foobar-x.y.z for some reason, it would be
nice to:
  # cd /usr/ports/portcategory/foobar
  # make -DVERSION=x.y.z install clean
If at all possible, it would be also great to have multiple
versions of the same ports available. We already have that for
some selected ports, but it wold be interesting to have a more
general solution. Of course, this requires a way to declare
one of those versions the "default version" (that would e.g.
set symlinks for includes, libs etc from generic to the current
version of the selected port).

> 8. How long have you used FreeBSD and/or UNIX in general?

20+ years.

> 9.  That is your primary use(s) for your FreeBSD machine(s) (name
> upto 3)?

Server farm + Desktops. Main development platform.

> 10. Assuming there is no functional difference what is your preferred
> installation method for 3rd party software?

The current system is excellent. It could use some slight tweaks
here and there, but overall, it is very usable and I'm quite happy
with it, despite its (unavoidable) shortcomings.


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