Ravenports, what's missing for you?

Predrag Punosevac punosevac72 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 14:06:44 PDT 2018

John Marino wrote:

> So there was a new article released about Ravenports this week:
> https://eerielinux.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/ravenports-a-modern-cross-platform-package-solution/
> Justin mentioned it on the digest:
> "A deep dive into Ravenports"
> https://www.dragonflydigest.com/2018/07/04/21485.html
> and a related dports topic:
> "Some package statistics"
> https://www.dragonflydigest.com/2018/07/05/21487.html
> So this of course drudged up logical questions about plans for 
> Ravenports to replace Dports, if, when, etc.
> While Ravenports can coexist with Dports, ideally a server can get all 
> it's packaging needs from one system.  Some people are already using 
> Ravenports exclusively.  I'm curious to know which packages serious DF 
> users think is missing -- dealbreakers for moving to ravenports exclusively.

Hi John,

First off I would like to thank you on your work on DPorts, FreeBSD
ports tree, and synth in particular. It seems like it was yesterday when
Matt announced that DF will be switching from pkgsrc to Dports


but I am sure it feels like an eternity to you. You managed more or less
on your 100% on your own to keep Dports in sync with FreeBSD ports three
and make DF usable to common folks like myself. 

> As background, keeping up with syncing dports to ravenports is a 
> tremendous amount of work and I've reduced that activity to every 3-4 
> weeks.  A main driver for creating ravenports is because I recognized 
> how much work fixing the inevitable breakage was becoming.  Personally I 
> only want to work on one system.  At some point I'll really want to drop 
> working on dports.
> which leaves us with 2 options:
> 1) someone else takes over dports (it's a huge responsibility)
> 2) we officially transition to ravenports exclusively.

This should come as a no surprise to anyone as you were the single point
of failure and even if you did not get sidetracked by synth and
ravenports sooner or later somebody (preferably community) would have to
step in.

I am not sure how to read lack of response to your candid e-mail you
sent almost 2 months ago. Personally my main concern is that Ravenports
is an infrastructure. Even the best infrastructure without community is
worthless. So instead of answering your question I will ask you a
question. Do you feel that there is momentum behind Ravenports and build
up of the community? Minix and SmartOS use pkgsrc while OmniOS
practically has no package system and uses SmartOS pkgsrc repos. I see
some discussions in Gentoo's and Funtoo's communities. What I am trying
to say is that you can fix here and there few ports to Ravenports
infrastructure but you can't you fix 25000+ ports from FreeBSD ports
tree. I see your job is to bootstrap ravenports to different
architectures aarch64, sparc64, and possibly different OSs. However your
job is not to maintain ravenports tree. In particular I am concern about
regression testing for such massive tree structure. As you know better
tools often lose to bad solutions (your synth is an example) if they
don't have the community and political support. Even decent tools like
pkgsrc get into the trouble if they over advertise and over sell (pkgsrc
is major pain on anything besides NetBSD as DF community is all to well

What is the plan of DF community for the time after Dports and John
Marino putting 80+ hours a week of free work?


> To make sure your future needs are covered, I'd recommend that you guys 
> post your requests to 
> https://groups.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!forum/ravenports 
> so I've got them captured.  Even better would be contribute ports 
> directly (easy if you are already familiar with freebsd/dport maintenance)
> Thanks,
> John

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