Subject: Just a thought on extending pkg_* format
To: None <tech-pkg@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 07/06/1998 16:19:31
Just to mention this somewhere in public:

When you think about extending the data set pkg_* operates on, you have 
basically two possibilities:
1. Stuffing your data in +CONTENTS (via PLIST or other)
2. Creating an extra file in /var/db/pkg/foo

The benefit of the further is that that way, all information is kept in 
one file that can also be retrieved from binary pkgs, even via FTP, using 
the existing code. The drawback is that retrieving the information once 
the pkg is installed is somewhat slower than with possibility #2. 

The advantage of #2 is - as mentioned above - that the information stored 
in extra files in /var/db/pkg/foo can be accessed quickly, but retrieving 
these information from binary pkgs, esp. if accessed via FTP - still has 
to be coded.

So, for performance reasons, #2 would probably be the best solution, 
though it will require additional code. 

Areas of impact esp. from our (NetBSD) point are:
 - package conflicts (via +CONTENTS)
 - compat-stuff (proposed; via a new file in /var/db/pkg/foo, IIRC)
 - pkg sizes (uncomitted; via +CONTENTS right now, but not likely to be 
   committed in the existing form ever due to doubtful performance)

Maybe someone wants to step forward and build a framework for reading 
information from multiple files under the above mentioned conditions. :)

Back to some real work...
			... Hubert

Hubert Feyrer <>