Subject: Re: Packages for NetBSD
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG,>
From: John F. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/11/1995 13:07:21
> > As I noted in the netbsd-packages mailing list (contact
> > 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
installation menu.

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).