Michel Talon talon at lpthe.jussieu.fr
Sun May 30 13:38:50 PDT 2004

Andreas Hauser wrote:

Therefore ports and the tools around it, can already do what apt-get can
and more, so how can it be you think apt-get being superior?
I currently manage upto 500 computers of different coloure
including Linux (SuSE, Debian, Gentoo), BSD (DragonFly, FreeBSD),
MacOSX, True64 and Solaris and  I prefer ports, even use netbsd's
pkgsrc on Linux with success.
Once more i agree fully with what you say and i am very far from having 
the same xperience as you on managing large number of machines. Even on 
one machine Debian has been mainly a pain for me. And i say that having
nothing against Linux per se. In my opinion, and in view of the current 
troubles in the FreeBSD kernel, the ports system is tha *main* thing 
better in FreeBSD than in Linux.

On the otherhand ports has room for improvements.
With >10000 it is imho necessary to define core
ports that get more attention, care and quality control.
A category of ports that is distinguished to be reliable
(might call them core ports or core packages).
Just to name on thing but there are as many as
failed approaches to create a revolutionary system,
so it appears to me to be a thing that can only be solved
evolutionary (meaning to extend and improve the existing).
Unfortunately a project like DragonFlyBSD that i like very much doesn't 
have the man power to manage  > 10k ports in a perfect way. Most of the 
problems with packaging systems come not from the system itself but from 
the ports maintainers who put paranoid dependencies on their ports.
Against that you can do basically nothing. It may be that the Debian 
system is very carefully designed, the problems i mentioned come through
the dependencies the port maintainers have specified. In my own 
experience this required to run dh-make on pristine source code almost
systematically, edit the resulting files and build from source.


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