lang/php5 port

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Wed Dec 17 16:39:38 UTC 2008

--On Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:25:02 -0500 Tom Worster <fsb at> 
>> If you're maintaining your
>> own workstation, that might be an educational experience.  If you're
>> maintaining servers, that could cause an outage while you try to remember
>> what your edits were.
> one has to remember the port's configuration whichever method is used. my
> memory isn't good so i keep detailed notes. recording in these notes which
> checkboxes in the config pseudo-gui were checked and unchecked is not
> convenient. i'm not sure i wouldn't prefer editing a file and keeping a diff
> with my notes, as i do for the other config files i change.

Your choices for the config of a port are saved in the ports system.  (Look in 
/var/db/ports/ if you're curious.)  Unless you need to make some changes, they 
will be pre-selected each time you update the port.  (There are some exceptions 
to this, where ports will always prompt for the config.)

>> If you think a port is incorrectly built (unnecessary dependencies, for
>> example) there's nothing wrong with submitting a PR and asking the maintainer
>> to update the port.  If the maintainer rejects your changes, you can always
>> edit locally later, but your submission could benefit thousands of people.
>> IOW, if you're the smartest guy on the block, please don't keep it to
>> yourself.
> i'm certainly not smart enough to know what might be a better way to design
> ports like php. but one thing seems odd to me. i ended up with dozens of
> ports installed that appeared to use nothing but the same php-5.2.8.tar.bz2
> distfile. relative to what i'm used to with php (i.e. manual configure,
> compile, install) this seems a bit untidy and i'm nervous what it might mean
> for maintenance.

Php used to be one monolithic port.  The problem was that it required a 
gazillion options, and many people didn't want anything but the base install. 
So php#-extensions was created to simplify the install of the base port and 
make the options more flexible.  For example, if a new extension comes out, you 
can simply install it.  No need to reinstall the entire php port.

You needn't worry about updating.  That's all taken care of in the ports 
system.  When you run portupgrade or portmaster, the extensions ports that need 
to be updated will be.

> my guess is that this approach allows the ports framework to handle
> conditional installation of dependent software on a relatively fine-grained
> basis depending which options the user chooses. that's a nice feature to
> have. but wouldn't it be nicer if were just one port with dependencies based
> off its configuration?

I think you can make a solid argument either way.

> seems that would reduce clutter in the ports tree too and maybe effort for
> the ports maintainer.

I don't think "we" are worried about clutter in the ports tree.  There are over 
16,000 ports (and rising), so another 10 or 20 in php is a fairly insignificant 

Paul Schmehl (pauls at
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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