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

Olivier Nicole on at cs.ait.ac.th
Tue Dec 4 01:59:27 PST 2007

> 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)?

OS first and ports second, I came using the ports after few years
building from source.

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

Weekly? Installing and upgrading when needed. It really depends on the
machine too.

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

It is very consistent regarding the installation hierarchy. It may be
different from the default used by one very product (example Apache
under /usr/local/apache by default, but in /usr/local/etc/apache in
FreeBSD), but it is consistent inside FreeBSD.

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

Some problem of compatibility in dependencies when the system has
1000+ ports.

> 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?

Dunno, I am not new :)

> 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?

Unix: 15+ years, FreeBSD: hummm, 8 years?

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

Production servers for every thing (web, mail, file, DNS...)

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

portinstall or sudo make. When there are problem of compatibility I
always end up doing the install manually.

> 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?

Medium to high.



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