Subject: Re: removing packages
To: Feico Dillema <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 11/25/2000 11:17:51
Well, then, how about this: don't break BSD into little bits, but 
instead, just keep a list of filenames from each distribution tarball, and 
have those in sets, which are 'packages' for those who can't live without 
them. a shell script could interpret the file and remove a 'package' (a 
set of files) at whim, as well as extract them anew from a tarball. The 
distribution would then contain these lists of files, one for each 
tarball (or one for all the tarballs, and just indicate which one 
contains which files , sets, etc) , but the 'package' info in these files 
owuld neither be necessary for installation nor for anythign else, it 
would be a scheme that would work with zero modification of the present 
day situation, and only require that when new distro tarballs come out, 
someone updates the packagelist files with the new file names, locations, 
etc. This work needs to be done anyways to packagize things, and so 
nobody can complain that it is too much effort, if they want packages in 
the first place, and it does not require any modification of the real BSD 
way of doing things. Plus, it's a simple human readable database, 
portable, manipulable not only by whatver script or somethign someone 
might decide to circulate with the files, but also by whatever soeone 
else wishes to use on his own. Does this sound like an acceptable idea? I 
don't see whose concerns this fails to address. 
However, i am really against fragmentation of the standard distribution. 
That's the whole point. That's the standard distribution. the other 
stuff, the stuff in pkgsrc, contrib stuff, X stuff, and stuff people put 
on their systems on their own, that's not the standard distribution, but 
the BSD is. A BSD system has that stuff on it. That's what makes it BSD! 
so give people a little database and so on, but let's NOT fragment into a 
million tiny bits like the linux people have, where you never know what's 
where! there is a very real advantage to having a standard distribution. 
Any BSD system is known to have that stuff there, and on it others can 
rely _without_ worrying about a zillion dependencies- the need for 
dependency checking and so on in linux and others is the result of them 
NOT having a standard distribution! for us, we should check the 
dependency and consistency of a new distro BEFORE releasing it, and then 
there is no NEED for dependency checking! the distribution works, and 
anyone who has the distribution is assured of a system that works! isn't 
that so much simpler than the painful swamp that the linux people have to 
slog through, worrying about dependency?? with BSD i never have to worry 
that the sendmail on my system is not going to work correctly under the 
kernel int he distro. All those other concerns are the result of NOT 
having a standard distribution in the first place! we don't have the 
problem, yet some people are chomping at the bit wanting a solution. why 
do they want the solution? so they can go create the problem that it 
solves! here in BSD , we don't HAVE that problem! let's not create it! 


On Sat, 25 Nov 2000, Feico Dillema wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 25, 2000 at 10:27:05AM -0500, Lord Isildur wrote:
> > > 
> > > At the moment, the base system isn't "pkgised" and files have to be
> > > removed manually.  This will hopefully be fixed soon - someone is
> > > working on it...
> > 
> > this is not good! this is BSD, the Berkeley Standard Distribution, that means
> > that those tarballs ARE the closest thing you get to packages, which is 
> > how it SHOULD be. We don't have to always just be aping what the linux 
> > people do just because they're doing it. So what if they are more popular 
> Calm down! Just because the SysV or the Linux crowd makes a mess of
> something doesn't mean this something is evil in itself. Oh boy, they
> have kernel threads and SMP support and it sucks! Let's hope BSD never
> incorporates such functionality! I've had to deal with Linux/SysV init
> and startup and think part of it is plain madness and a major hassle
> and annoyance. But I also think the new NetBSD rc.d style is close
> to genius, at least it is very elegant and easy to maintain. It is
> also not very difficult to convert to the classic rc style, for those
> that get easily nostalgic about some things. I've always been very
> impressed by the NetBSD crowd creating elegant solutions where others
> have miserably failed before.
> Like you, I don't hope we get BSD pkg-ized like Linux distributions
> do. I creates a lot of pain and doesn't solve any particular problem
> at all. But some form of pkg-ization would be a good thing; not
> because it's fun to chop up the BSD tarballs in trillions of smaller
> ones. But because it's a good idea to have a list (database if you
> want ot call it that) of what is installed on your system and what
> dependencies exist between them. The NetBSD pkg system already does a
> very good job at that for application programs, and I'd love to see the
> contents of the NetBSD base distribution being recorded in the pkg
> (or equivelent separate) database. Would enable very nice and elegant
> sysadmin scripts to check completeness, correctness (md5 hashes?) and
> enables pkgsrc packages to upgrade elegantly parts of the system (like
> you want latest sendmail/bind/... without upgrading to newer NetBSD
> yet) and apply security patches and the like. Also, it would make it
> easier to create customized distributions for particular purposes,
> like if you want to make a set of tarballs with all you need for a
> small router or embedded system.
> Feico.