Subject: Re: Packages for NetBSD
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG, firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: John F. Woods <email@example.com>
Date: 01/11/1995 13:07:21
> > As I noted in the netbsd-packages mailing list (contact majordomo@Good.com)
> > we will need a filesystem layout to be 'standard' for installed packages.
> > People who can't use the standard can use symbolic links; the default
> > should not require this.
> This pushes the idea of sources packages too.
> I need to be able to decide where files are installed
The notion that there should be a standard place for binary packages to get
installed does not, in any way, preclude anyone from getting the source and
compiling it themselves. It's a very strange idea, though, that car
dealerships should all close because somewhere, someone would rather smelt
and forge the steel for their car themselves.
I think the right way to view all this is to think of NetBSD as a layered
product, in which case the sole responsibility of the core group to the
package group is essentially to keep out of their way, and vice versa :-).
Because the NetBSD core is, itself, rather bulky, I'd kind of like to see
it able to be broken down (if someone is going to use NetBSD as a router,
do they need to install /usr/games?), which argues for a packaging tool that
is lightweight enough to be used in the base install process (which rules out
certain popular Swiss-Army Chainsaws... :-), but if you take the core as a
given, then The Standard Install Process can start with installing perl
in the Standard place, followed by starting up the perl script for the fancy
Perhaps what's really needed is for a CD-ROM shop to become interested in
doing a layered NetBSD product. But insisting that all distributions Must
Be Source Only is silly: there's no reason for it; too many people would
rather just plug something in and use it (and no, an "install" script for
X11R6 that starts up imake instead of tar is just ridiculous).