DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2008-03
DragonFly BSD
DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2008-03
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Re: Pkgsrc problems [ was: lang/python24 build problems]

From: "Thomas E. Spanjaard" <tgen@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:34:15 +0000

Hasso Tepper wrote:
At least some of us agreed that pkgsrc isn't shiniest package management system - upgrade is real pain etc. This is not about these technical issues. Pkgsrc is IMHO the best option we have at the moment, but ...

Pkgsrc is virtually the only option we have at the moment.

AFAICS DragonFly support in pkgsrc have been mostly Joergs' project. Thanks to him we have what we have now. But his focus has shifted away from DragonFly AFAICS (no problem, it happens all the time with people; it's called life, evolution etc) and DragonFly specific issues in pkgsrc don't get enough love any more. More specifically:

Both Joerg and Jeremy; and prodding either of them seems to have good results. Also, you can try prodding Johnny Lam.

* Patches sit in NetBSD bugs database too long. Nobody seems to confident enough to commit patches or just don't care enough or patches remain just unnoticed etc. #36978 is good example, but there are others (net-snmp with this fix doesn't build any more, btw, but I'm also afraid that it isn't net-snmp issue now, but perl).

This is a problem of the MAINTAINER not being active enough as well.

* Even if patches go into pkgsrc, they are not pushed to upstream. While I know there are a lot of people out there who don't think about it as important thing, it's extremely important IMHO.

Agreed; the relative utopia would be to have no need for patches at all. But this is harder to get right, due to disparate release schedules for different projects, etc.

* Pkgsrc isn't tested enough _before_ freeze and release. The result is that issues is discovered after pkgsrc release and fixes will be available for wider user community in _next_ release (the very same python24 issue is good example). Next release has its' own issues etc.

So, IMHO we need two things:

* Regular builds of pkgsrc HEAD on both our stable and HEAD with info about failures made available for community. I think that many of us (including me) can take a look at logs and try to fix issues. The important point is that we should try to catch as much of bugs as possible _before_ release.

Nice idea, except doing full bulk builds of pkgsrc does that its fair amount of time. If you have a multicore machine, you can run multiple builds in parallel on vkernels to make builds run faster, but even still you need a beefy CPU, lots of RAM and not just a single disk, but a fast disk array to power the build. SSDs would be ideal :).

* "Our man/men in pkgsrc" (sry, mr. Greene ;).

We already have people who care enough about DragonFly on pkgsrc, but they're not enough, I agree; it's a lot of work to keep an eye on all packages, and staying focused on fixing issues instead of running into annoyances with pkgsrc all the time also requires dedication. If some people started flooding pkgsrc GNATS with patches for DragonFly, I'm sure commit bits won't take long to arrive.

There is at least one laternative as well of course - to branch pkgsrc (fork isn't correct term here IMHO). So, we could fix our issues in "our pkgsrc stable", build our packages from this "branch" etc. While recommended by some people, I personally don't like the idea much though.

Like what happened to dfports? We don't have the manpower to maintain a respectable package repository ourselves.

Opinions? Or more importantly - volunteers?

My opinion comes for free, but volunteering... I don't think I can commit the time to become an active pkgsrc developer :).
Thomas E. Spanjaard

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