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Too much metadata?

I apologize if this is a FAQ. I did not see it in the official FAQ lists
and couldn't come up with a great search term.

I'm interested in building a handful of packages which are supplied
through pkgsrc. Is it true that I have to download metadata for every
package every conceived before I can build the package I want? Clearly
that is not necessary, but I haven't found a roadmap for starting with a
smaller set. It seems as though the pkgtools that understand
dependencies should be able to retrieve the necessary metadata as needed.

-Norton Allen

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