Subject: Re: Package system, was: FreeBSD killed archie, was: where is top
To: Alistair Crooks <>
From: John F. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/15/1997 10:22:54
> In -current, we have the NetBSD package system, which is hugely derived
> from the FreeBSD ports system. The way it's set up, you don't have to
> know where the sources are - let the package system do the work for
> you. The following output shows how to install top (and this is on a
> machine behind a firewall).
> root@pumpy:/usr/pkgsrc/sysutils/top(1772)# make && make install
> >> top-3.5beta5.tar.gz doesn't seem to exist on this system.
> >> Attempting to fetch from

That's how to install top-3.5beta5.  Now, how would one install an
earlier version?  Or the *next* version of top (before the pkg
maintainer gets around to updating the tree)?  Or any other package
which the NetBSD package tree does not yet contain?

Make no mistake, I think the automated package system is exceedingly
useful, but it does not completely supplant archie (even if it does
assist Linux in rendering it unusable).

Does the archie scheme have any equivalent to the web's robots.txt?
I.e. a way for responsible ftp archives to warn archie gatherers that
a given subtree does not contain anything worth referencing?  Of
course, getting a million linux boxes run by former DOS/BBS users (who
are thus not finely attuned to the problems of widely-scalable
publishing) to go add such flag files to their archives for archie's
benefit is probably fruitless...

> PS. If anyone has a favourite piece of software which they use, and it's
> not in the package system, please get in touch with me with a view to
> putting said favourite software into the package system. Thanks.

netpbm and WU-FTPD come instantly to mind.  I'll sort through my 300MB
/usr/local/src partition and mail further suggestions. ;-)