When I put up any version of FBSD I usually try to install Maxima ...

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Sun Jan 29 02:18:22 UTC 2012

On Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 01:30:37AM +0100, Michel Talon wrote:
>    Agreed. That is why it is an _option_ now.
>  Yes but ON by default, which is the problem. It is even a bigger problem
>  when you realize you would like using other versions of TeX than the
>  standard one, for example you would prefer Texlive, and i would prefer an
>  ultra minimalistic version if that existed, because i think that at least
>  half of TeTeX is complete crap, already. I could not care less of luatex
>  and other "modern" stuff, i would be happy with only the postscript version
>  of the Knuth fonts plus a few type1 fonts that I like. I have no use for
>  metafont and other graphic programs.  The only modern improvement i find
>  valuable is pdftex, and i find latex2e to be horrible, but unfortunately
>  necessary nowadays.

Like it or not, the next version of pdftex will be luatex. (According to some
of the principal developers, Hans Hagen and Taco Hoekwater). I think luatex is
interesting, because a lot of things like calculations are much better done in
a general-purpose language like lua than in a macro- and token-based language
like TeX. But I'm digressing.

>    And who is to say what is "appropriate", other than the respective
>    maintainers of the port in question? In my opinion, packages are a
>    dead-end street. They might be convenient but they are also "one size
>    fits all". Which as your message demonstrates is not the case. :-)
>  It is here that we differ considerably, i think that ports are a complete
>  dead end which can be easily proven by the fact that almost nobody uses
>  FreeBSD compared to Linux binary distributions (like Debian, Ubuntu). I

Initially BSD had more momentum than Linux. But then the infamous USL v. BSDi
lawsuit happened, which effectively derailed BSD development for years.
Packages versus ports had little to do with that.

>  could make the same argument with Linux source based distributions like
>  Gentoo. It is the sort of things people believe they like at first, and
>  finally run away from because they are constantly broken.

In a big system like the ports tree there will continually be ports that won't
work, for various reasons. That is inherent in such a dynamic and evolving
system. There is no software without bugs. But to describe the _system_ for
building from source like ports, pkgsrc and gentoo as constantly broken is
severely overstating the matter, IMO. According to the count today on
Freshports, of the 23080 ports, only 190 are marked broken. That is about
0.8%. One should also keep in mind that packages are built from ports, and
can't be made without it or something similar.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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