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

Erik Cederstrand erik at cederstrand.dk
Tue Dec 4 01:40:05 PST 2007

Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> [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)?

Mu. For me, the OS is nothing without the port, and vice-versa.

> 2. How frequently do you interact with the ports systems and what is
> the most common interaction you have with it?

Daily. Updating, building for jails.

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

For normal, day-to-day work on servers, it Just Works.

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

Compiling takes forever, especially on small-scale machines.

> 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?

A GUI would really help to get an overview and manage simple tasks.

> 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?


> 7. Same as question 6 but for your answer on question 3?


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

Five years.

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

Home server (mail, web, file), software development, small-scale production.

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

pkg_add to cut install time, but usually ports tree because of missing 
options in precompiled packages (e.g. no-gui vim, php5 with apache module).

> 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?



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