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

Philip M. Gollucci pgollucci at riderway.com
Mon Dec 3 17:12:40 PST 2007

Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> [Repost from -ports@]
> As has been hashed out in -ports@ over the last few days there is at
> least a need to examine weither or not the current ports system should
> remain as is or potentially be re-engineered in the future (estimates
> if and when needed vary from ASAP to 10-15 years).   I have
> volunteered to undertake a feasibility/pilot project to examine what
> changes (if any) are needed in the system (for the purposes of this
> thread I will not venture any of my own suggestions).   I have the
> following broad questions for people:
> 1. What is more important to your personal use of FreeBSD (the ports
> system, the underlaying OS, some other aspect)?
Software builds correct and is present.  Including a way to make my own
custom packages for distribution.
> 2. How frequently do you interact with the ports systems and what is
> the most common interaction you have with it?
Daily, updating, and maintaining the ports tree itself.

> 3. What is the single best aspect of the current system?
Its source based and re-uses and existing language (make) instead of
inventing a new one.

> 4. What is the single worst aspect of the current system?
Most ports don't deal well with multiple versions. Even apache which is
versioned doesn't do it that well.

> 5. If you where a new FreeBSD user how would your answers above
> change?   If you where brand new to UNIX how whould they change?
I'd want a gui and not to compile anything.

> 6. Assuming that there was no additional work on your behalf would you
> use a new system if it corrected your answer to number 4?
Quite possibly.

> 7. Same as question 6 but for your answer on question 3?
(that doesn't make sense -- if you corrected the single best aspect of

> 8. How long have you used FreeBSD and/or UNIX in general?
since 2.2.8 ~1998

> 9.  That is your primary use(s) for your FreeBSD machine(s) (name upto 3)?
Development (SVN, imap, you name it)
Production (FAMP stacks)
> 10. Assuming there is no functional difference what is your preferred
> installation method for 3rd party software?
source compilation -- except for things like Xorg, Firefox and
Thunrderbird because they are just so darn big.

> 11. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) please rate the
> importance of the following aspects of the ports system?
>        a. User Interface
>        b. Consistency of behaviors and interactions
>        c. Accuracy in dependant port installations
>        d. Internal record keeping
>        e. Granularity's of the port management system
> 12. Please rate your personal technical skill level?
Very High -- Professional System Admin

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Philip M. Gollucci (philip at ridecharge.com)
Senior System Admin - Riderway, Inc.
http://riderway.com / http://ridecharge.com
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Work like you don't need the money,
love like you'll never get hurt,
and dance like nobody's watching.

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