Ports with GUI configs

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Thu Nov 15 11:50:03 PST 2007

[LoN]Kamikaze wrote:
> Chuck Robey wrote:
>> Garrett Cooper wrote:
>>> [LoN]Kamikaze wrote:
>>>> Garrett Cooper wrote:
>>>>    USE flags are a pain in the ass (former Gentoo user of 3 years).
>>>>> Introducing that type of complexity into a ports system isn't necessary
>>>>> and does unexpected things at times for end-users when developers
>>>>> change
>>>>> variable names or behavior, which happened quite often with Gentoo.
>>>>>    make config-all or something similar to have people fill in their
>>>>> desired config info in all of the ncurses config sections would however
>>>>> be a much better idea I think..
>>>>> -Garrett
>>>> Are you talking about make config-recursive?
>>> Yes =\. Lemme guess.. that's already an option :)?
>> I hope not.  We really need to move this out of being a ports buildtime
>> thing.  Currently, to build ports in batch either requires someone to be
>> chained to the computer, so as to intercept all those screens, or to
>> simply agree to install everything, with no inpput whatever.  These are
>> both bad options.
> No, you got it wrong. You run 'make config-recursive' and get all the
> configure screens at once. Afterwards you can just run 'make install clean'
> and go away. Read the ports(7) manpage.

Oh, (I just erased a bunch, I should never use sarcasm, even when it's 
deserved).  Do you have the 3 weeks it would take, to sit down and run 
thru all the configs for 10,000 ports?  I don't know how many, exactly, 
but you'll have to agree it's huge.  On top of this obviously ridiculous 
task, you would need to do a huge amount of investigation, because most 
of these option questions don't give nearly enough info to have anyone 
excepting 1% of the techies to be able to make reasonable decisions. 
OTOH, a well organized database describing a user's machine environment 
and their personal proclivities IS easily possible, and would cause all 
that decision making to be done automatically.  For the great majority 
of users, it's a far, far better option. The sticky point, the one that 
needs to be done with psychological care, is to make it possible for 
non-technical users to correctly define their wants.

Get that part correct, and then you have a nicely workable system that 
ports writers can use to guide their port's dependency decisions.

> If you're using sysutils/bsdadminscripts you can run 'portconfig-recursive -a'
> before a 'portupgrade -a' in order to avoid having someone sit in front of the
> machine during the portupgrade.

Only if you are choosing some default value, we have no other system in 
place to be able to define what decisions to make.  If you are proposing 
such a system, well, that's precisely what I'm doing.  Otherwise, you 
face users with a gigantic task, answering questions that they are not 
equipped to answer.

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