Subject: Re: time spent per package
To: None <>
From: Johnny C. Lam <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 03/12/2003 17:51:53
On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 12:46:15PM -0700, wrote:
> However, I am trying to raise some resources that might either help
> the process or provide monetary incentives for anyone interested in
> certain broad classes of packages (primarily scientific applications
> of which I have a number of specific examples).  This seems to be a
> particularly difficult area, probably for the reason Hubert points
> out: not only does it require packaging skills, but it also requires s
> knowledge of the science involved in order to debug the packages.  I
> am involved with a number of scientists who can provide some of the
> latter expertise if I can catalyze some input from the packaging crew
> for the former.

One difficulty I've faced when packaging scientific software is that the
build mechanisms are generally not as nice as for other software, meaning
they don't use GNU auto* but instead have their own Makefiles that
implement a custom build system.  This makes it more time-consuming to
package those applications than typical applications.

> My only hopes with this were that the people involved with packaging
> might be compensated a bit for their efforts and that the NetBSD
> package system would benefit as a result.  If this is "out of bounds"
> please let me know and I will pursue other avenues.
> In order to quantify the resources that might be required to
> accomplish this, I needed a bit of information on how long each
> package might take someone with experience making packages.  Hence my
> first question.  Thanks alot for the answers; they are very helpful.

As for me, the simple stuff takes something on the order of 15-30 minutes.
Complex, extensible programs (perl, php, apache, postgresql) take a _lot_
of time, something on the order of 6-10 hours of continuous work to ensure
that the software is packaged into sensible bits (which involves
understanding of the specific software) and to ensure that all PLIST issues
are resolved.


	-- Johnny Lam <>