Sane way to resolve potential conflicts in the system

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Mon Apr 25 07:19:11 UTC 2016

On 25/04/2016 02:59, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 24 Apr 2016 21:30:28 -0400, Kevin P. Neal wrote:
>> > I'm curious what a system would look like that lets you customize
>> > compile time settings but doesn't require you to recompile if you want
>> > to change said compile time settings.

Yes, I think it is widely recognised that FreeBSD packages are a bit too
rigid; both in the strictness of their dependencies and in forcing a
choice between alternate implementations of dependencies at compile-time
rather than package install-time.  There are plans and ideas on how to
ameliorate that, but the main obstacle to implementation is lack of
developer time.

> As far as I understand, package "flavors" can do this to some extent.
> However, for n options, 2^n packages would be needed (in worst case),
> plus a method to derive their correct name. :-)

Package "flavors" is a concept from OpenBSD ports -- amongst others, but
that's where the "flavors" terminology is most widely used.  In fact,
FreeBSD ports already has this to a limited extent.  There are a number
of slave ports that exist solely to build a package with alternative
options settings.  It is not applied anywhere nearly as systematically
as the OpenBSD equivalent, and it does rely on the presence of those
slave ports.

However, the thinking at the moment is that sub-packages will account
for a large fraction of the different permutations: specifically those
where setting an option just adds some extra files to a package.



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