Subject: Ported software
To: None <>
From: Charles M. Hannum <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/13/1994 10:59:41
Since someone brought it up, I thought I'd mention what I would like
to see in a ported software archive.

1) There should be diffs from the base distribution available, as well
as a pointer to the base distribution.  These should probably be
stored in a different directory than the complete source, so they are
easy to separate.  Preferrably, there should be no diffs at all.  (See
next point.)

2) When you port a package, you should communicate with the author to
get NetBSD support put in the base distribution.  (Keep in mind that
the author/maintainer may not like your first cut of patches.)  This
is the best thing you can do for the community as a whole; it helps
the author become more aware of porting issues, it helps you not to
have to maintain a separate version of the package, and it helps other
NetBSD users because they can pick up the package from anywhere and
have it `just work'.

3) Everything should install in /usr/local.  I could be convinced that
some other hierarchy is appropriate, but there should not be more than
one hierarchy for the ported software as a whole.

4) Converting everything to use the NetBSD build scheme is a short
road to Hell, as that makes it much harder to import new versions of
packages.  On the other hand, some kind of coherent build scheme would
be nice, even if it only allows for `make all; make install; make
clean'.  I've seen a number of schemes for this in the past, and
almost all of them involve far too much hair for my taste.

5) It would be useful to integrate this with the NetBSD install
system.  The current mechanism allows for optional installation of
packages, but not deinstallation.  It also has no way of running a
post-install or post-deinstall script to munge other system files.
Both of these are (unfortunately) necessary for a complete optional
install mechanism.  They should be relatively easy to do.

All told, it should certainly be done, but this is not an offer to do
it.  B-)  I'm willing to look over ported packages as my time permits,
though, and I'm willing to help define the layout and installation