Stable tag will be slipped Sunday and release engineering will begin Monday

Michel Talon talon at
Tue Apr 5 06:17:22 PDT 2005

Rahul Siddharthan wrote:

>>The traditional *BSD methods, be they port, package, or direct build,
>>are far more forgiving and resilient - and generally easier to
>>troubleshoot, fix, or work around to keep current.
> Bill, I don't think you've actually used Debian.  Try it and see.
> As for me, "resilient" is not the word I would think of when
> considering the FreeBSD ports tree.  I remember at least 2 serious
> snafus (involving libpng and gettext), and have forgotten dozens of
> minor hiccups, in my 4-5 years of using FreeBSD.  Usually nowadays,
> when such a major disruptive upgrade happens, detailed portupgrade
> instructions are posted on the lists, and things still seem to go
> wrong for users.

may i agree with Bill and disagree with you. First reason
why apt-get works and portupgrade doesn't is that Debian
mainly works with binary packages and FreeBSD mainly works with source 
packages. You can *never* be sure that a source package will
build while you are sure that a binary package is built.
Hence apt-get has an *exact* view of what exists in the repository,
when portupgrade only has a view of what is supposed to exist.
Second Debian has around 1000 developers caring of their
repository when FreeBSD has around five times less for the same
amount of software. Consequently you can expect a much larger
number of unbuildable ports. However for someone like you, if
you have a desired soft which doesn't build under FreeBSD it
is always almost trivial to find tweaks to get it built, so
that i can agree with Bill that it is very easy to troubleshoot
and fix. Conversely i have run Debian stable for more than a year,
and i have spent incredible time packaging softs the Debian way
so that it fits to their management sytem, because frankly
nothing interesting (for me) exists for stable. I agree
with you that unstable is a far better choice, but you
can observe "interesting" problems using unstable, such
as the sudden disparition of KDE or other misbehaviors. I
have personnally seen such problems on friends machines.
Anyways i am convinced that the main problem is the care
and love for each individual port (and this is the factor you don't
control), not the packaging system (dpkg, pkgtools) even less
the meta packaging system (apt-get, portupgrade).

Michel Talon

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