Still having trouble with package upgrades

Benjamin Tovar ben at
Wed Mar 7 19:33:25 UTC 2012

On Wed, Mar 07, 2012 at 12:57:46PM -0500, David Jackson wrote:
> So it seems like a happy compromise here. You will get what you need
> and us newbies and other users who really dont want the extra
> trouble of compiling will get our binaries. Everyone gets what they
> want and is happy, it seems.

Yes, this sounds awfully good, except that I think it is much harder
than you think. First, some options are mutually exclusive
(i.e. ncurses vs slang)... so, maybe there are two, or three versions
of the same package... and again, this sounds awfully good, except for
the limited and volunteered time of a port maintainer. A happy
compromise might be then to have binary packages of popular ports,
which is how we have it now.

Second, and I think this the most important reason, ports put the
responsibility of the system on the user. They force you to make
decisions on exactly what software is installed. You want the
stability and freedom of FreeBSD without this responsibility, and this
seems very hard to compromise (e.g., macosx and most linux
distributions remove the responsibility by making all these choices
for you).

Is this newbie friendly? Probably not. Does it need to be? Well, it
would be nice if more people use it, but if we remove the
responsibility from the user, then it would not be FreeBSD, it would
be something else. (Like Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, which sounds like what
you are looking for.)

Benjamin Tovar

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