Subject: Re: PROPOSAL: NetBSD System Packages (LONG)
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: tech-install
Date: 10/01/1998 12:13:11

On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Hubert Feyrer wrote:

>Well that option you prefer will lead to quite some diskspace being used
>if you have a system that's fine grained enough, as a single, small pkg
>may be included in several other pkgs, or be required by them. Think
> - an xpm pkg
> - an fvwm pkg
> - an window managers pkg
> - a X core setup
> - a X user setup
> - probably an "all pkgs" pkg
>Any of these pkgs will include a copy of the xpm pkg - do you really want
>this? I doubt it. (not speaking of the fact of re-creating these pkgs when
>xpm is updated. 

It's not clear to me that anyone has proposed the idea that you're
shooting down here.  Again, so it's clear, the proposal is this:

NetBSD's install system should be reworked to provide `system package's,
in the same format as are used for third-party software packages.  These
packages would use the same dependency mechanism and the same tools as
our current packages.

However, because there is a very real requirement that NetBSD be
distributed as a small number of files which can be easily downloaded
and verified by users who may not have NetBSD available at all yet and
who may not have any network access at all at install time, it is
necessary to distribute these packages in sets, corresponding directly
to the install sets currently used to install NetBSD.  These sets would
be a container (extended package format, tarball, whatever) holding the
constituent packages and a contents file of some sort.  Tools dealing
with these containers could either unwrap the whole shebang and pkg_add
each constituent package (the normal approach for new users, who will
simply choose from `base', `comp', and so on), or could grok the
contents file and give users their choice of which packages to pull out
and pkg_add.

At no point would any package directly contain a copy of it's
dependencies, which is the straw man you are bludgeoning above.  Rather,
a set would contian multiple packages.  Sets contain copies, packages
continue to contain pointers.  That's precisely why we need the new

- -- 
				Jim Wise

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