Subject: src/dist is a *bad* idea (was: New IP Filter v3.3.5 is now in the tree)
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/12/1999 14:53:46
[ On Sunday, December 12, 1999 at 13:39:28 (+0100), Bernd Ernesti wrote: ]
> Subject: New IP Filter v3.3.5 is now in the tree
> The new version use dist/ipf.

This sucks.  I really hate this "src/dist" crap.  If something is being
*imported* into the tree then integrate it directly and properly as per
the rules in hier(7).  Seems people are confusing "cvs import" with
"integration".  Even in this case "cvs import" is bogus and basically
useless, especially between major releases of the imported product.  You
cannot have any truly useful functionality with the CVS vendor branch in
combination with other branches.  If you want to do this then you
basically have to keep local "patches" separate too, just as in pkgsrc.

In the end this "src/dist" idea is just a whole lot of make-work for
everyone who tries to make use of the result (i.e. the source tree).  If
one small group of developers would do the proper integration once then
the resulting source product would be greatly more useful for those of
us who use NetBSD as a source product.  This is increasingly important
now that the CVS repository is available for us to use too.

Then of course there's the pure ugliness of a source tree with this kind
of mess and confusion and unnecessary complexity in it....  If every
third-party product was moved off into dist there'd be little left!  To
take it to the extreme why not have /usr/src/dist/4BSD and reference all
the non-NetBSD stuff from there?  Surely that should show the complete
insanity of src/dist.  What about kernel stuff?  Isn't this IP Filter
example a perfect one to show how the ksrc collection is becoming
disjointed and unable to stand on its own (or did this import give in
and copy the kernel source files from src/dist to src/sys and thus add
further confusion, complexity, and duplication of effort)?

Indeed the fact that third party stuff was being *properly* integrated
into the source tree was one of the highlights of the original NetBSD
source distribution -- it was reasonably nice and clean and consistent.
The proliferation of src/dist junk was the first thing that annoyed me
about modern FreeBSD.

If one of the goals of NetBSD is really to make a clean and elegant
*source* distribution for an operating system then the developers need
to go back to doing the proper work of truly integrating everything that
makes up this source distribution that we users once so admired.

If instead all you want to do is to collect the best of the open source
world and mash it all into one system that can be built to cut a binary
distribution that sells tons of CDs then we should all just give up now
and carry our kernel over and help the Linux guys do it right.  Who
needs yet another user-land distribution if it's source tree isn't a
truly integrated whole anyway?

							Greg A. Woods

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