results of ports re-engineering survey

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Wed Dec 12 18:36:51 PST 2007

Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> Hash: SHA1


For Gods sake, could you PLEASE not have folks reply to the list!  We 
have been sufficiently bombarded with this already.  If you must have 
the replies public, then send them to freebsd-chat, but plesae stop 
polluting the list (as you are clearly asking people to do above).

> A few disclaimers:
>     Neither I or anyone else is asking for FreeBSD to incorparate any
> modifications to the current base system and/or ports collection.   If
> and when any code is developed from this process it will be committed
> using normal commit and review processes.
>     The following summary of results is based on my eyeballing of
> answers and should not be interpreted as being any sort of
> mathematically and/or scientifically valid in any manner.
> Number of responses: roughly 30
> Summary of results:
> 1. Most respondents stated that both the underlaying OS and the ports
> collection are equally important.   When a preference was shown it was
> for the underlaying OS in most cases.
> 2. On average people tend to interact with the port system once or
> twice a week
> 3. The single best aspect of the ports system according to respondents
> is dependency tracking when installing new ports
> 4. The single worst aspect of the ports system according to
> respondents is dependency tracking when updating or deleting existing
> ports
> 5. Most respondents would not change there answers tothe survey if
> they where new to FreeBSD
> 6. Almost all respondents would use a new system if it fixed their
> personal worst aspect of the current system
> 7. About 50% of respondents would use a new system if it broke the
> best aspect of the ports system but fixed the worst aspect
> 8. Length of FreeBSD usage: rough avr. of 8 years with roughly 3 year
> std. dev.
> 9. Prefered install method: ports
> 10. Usage roughly evenly spread among desktop, development and servers
> 11. Subsystem ratings (rough avr's):
>     UI: 6
>     Constancy: 9
>     Dependancy tracking: 7
>     Record keeping: 9
>     Granularity: 9
> 12. Most users are either sysadmins and/or developers
> Orginial Survey:
> 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)?
> 2. How frequently do you interact with the ports systems and what is
> the most common interaction you have with it?
> 3. What is the single best aspect of the current system?
> 4. What is the single worst aspect of the current system?
> 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?
> 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?
> 9.  That is your primary use(s) for your FreeBSD machine(s) (name upto 3)?
> 10. Assuming there is no functional difference what is your preferred
> installation method for 3rd party software?
> 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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