Compatability with FreeBSD Ports [debian package tools]

Andreas Hauser andy at
Tue Aug 16 18:14:14 PDT 2005

hmp wrote @ Wed, 17 Aug 2005 00:26:37 +0100:
> Can we not just go with an established packaging suite like the one found 
> in Debian and modify it for our use?
> It's certainly more established than pkgsrc, and has more packages.

I think you have a flaw in your thinking, there, where you assume,
we would have as many packages as debian has, only by using their

Debian has so many packages because they have thousands that submit them.
(They submit the _binary_ package.)
You can do this when labor is cheap. Like in China or Linux.

When labor is not that cheap, you need better technology
to accomplish similar. That is what ports/pkgsrc is. It makes
producing those packages much easier, so that less people
can produce more packages.

I am sure one could easily modify ports/pkgsrc to produce dpkg or rpm
binary packages instead of pkg packages. But this is an ortogonal

I think, what you really appreciate, is that debian has a nicer
way of _distributing_ the packages (and the info about their state).
One could achive similar by freezing a ports tree and producing
a set of packages. Then distribute a ports tree lite [1](only the
version and dependanycy info). And use portupgrade -PP.

You loose a lot of flexibility (like compiler flags, which compiler at all)
and up-to-dateness that way. E.g. before sarge came out some month ago,
woody the latest release had mozilla 1.0 as _the_ browser.
Besides structural problems inside debian (buerocracy some call it)
the cause is the static, binary way, they have deliberatly chosen.
As soon as you want something other than the maintainer,
especially other versions, you are lost.

goes into that direction.

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