Compatability with FreeBSD Ports [debian package tools]

Joerg Sonnenberger joerg at
Wed Aug 17 07:22:35 PDT 2005

On Wed, Aug 17, 2005 at 03:27:26PM +0200, Michel Talon wrote:
> >If you want to invest time, think about how apt-get can either be ported
> Apt-get has no extraordinary magic that portupgrade misses.

apt-get is more involved, but has it own problems as well. It does have
a somewhat simpler job because it deals with binary packages only. That
doesn't mean the additional magic of portupgrade is justified, because
it can break installed package in an unreliable and hard to detect way.
Please, let us abandone the idea of incrementally updating from source,
it is evil and the side-effects of not partially removing the dependency
trees don't justify it.

Once again, if you want to invest time, handle to installation and
update problem for binary packages. It includes a bunch of things
apt-get doesn't do right, some of which are outlined in the goals
section. IMO you normally have two kind of outdated packages. First is
one you just haven't updated yet, the second category consists of
packages you can't update for administrative reasons. Debian handles the
latter only in so far as major versions of libraries get new package
names and don't conflict with each other. That's not optimal IMO.
pkgviews is one way to solve it, simply installing the "outdated"
package in a different root with all its requirements is another. That
works very well with pkgsrc, since e.g. rpath is used for all shared
libraries, no need to manipulate rtld config files.

> >Portage looks nice for the first time you use, until you hit a major
> >problem with it. 
> I have never used portage, but a lot of people are very happy with it.
> But for sure i have encountered severe breakage in FreeBSD ports, so
> i don't see any reason to despise the Gentoo work.

I've worked with both and Gentoo was far easier to *completely* break.
That might not be a problem of the technology, but more related to
idiosyncratic policies, but it nevertheless hints the problem.


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