Compatability with FreeBSD Ports [debian package tools]

Jon Dama jd at
Wed Aug 17 12:56:23 PDT 2005

> Another issue here, is that we have un-substantiated claims that FreeBSD
> port maintainers will not accept patch files to make ports work on
> DragonFly?  I have yet to see any evidence on this matter.

This is hardly the point is it?  Its true enough that one could easily
view supporting DragonflyBSD as if it was just another major version
number of FreeBSD--even if the mechanisms are very ad-hoc.

The question here is that there are a handful of us and we want to
piggy-back off a much larger development community.  So it isn't just a
question of whether individual port maintainers are willing accept
comptability patches but whether the ports team is willing to accept
compat patches against things like that minimize the hackery
necessary on an individual port basis.

I was under the impression--though I could be mistaken--that the pkgsrc
people had agreed to do precisely that sort of thing.

> In my opinion, the option to build packages is only useful to people who
> want extreme modifications to their applications.  I am sure most
> people, including me would not really care about source packages; I for
> one would not bother building OpenOffice or KDE locally, total waste of
> time.
There are at least a _few_ exceptions to this.  One being mplayer where
you can get a few percent improvement allowing it to taylor itself to your
CPU at compile time.  Don't scoff though, this can make the difference
between acceptable and intolerable dvd playback.

Another critical exception is certain setuid applications such suphp (a
special form of suexec).  Certain security rules are set at compile time,
but I can assure you this is not an extreme situation.  Now perhaps the
author of said program should have enabled more runtime configuration but
given the nature the program, I find this arrangement more
comforting--especially since I can set immutable flags on the resulting

I whole heartedly agree though about KDE or OpenOffice.

> Can we not use ports or pkgsrc as our build part of the problem, and
> produce packages that are understandable by APT* ?
I completely agree that something of this form is desirable.  Whoever
earlier commented that the build setup and the package management were two
problems not one was quite right.  That said, it is a very desirable
feature of FreeBSD Ports/Pkgs that you can easily mix installing some from
binary packages and building some as ports.

It would be equally nice if it was easy to register installations that are
not performed directly using the packaging system.

As a side note, I find it rather ridiculous that NetBSD and FreeBSD cannot
coordinate to agree on a single pkgsrc/ports unification--well not
ridiculous given politics, technical disagreements, etc but at least
disappointing... ironically, that discord seems to mirror the same
disorder in this present discussion.

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