Subject: Re: Proposal: unification of distfiles for FreeBSD and NetBSD
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Sean Davis <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 10/01/2003 14:42:03
On Wed, Oct 01, 2003 at 01:02:17PM -0500, Frederick Bruckman wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Oct 2003, Christian Limpach wrote:
> > > What if TNF makes a CD of binary packages, and sells it? Under 3a, all
> > > such CD's would have to include complete source, but under 3b, you can
> > > just say, "Go download it" (in writing). I suppose we could make it a
> > > point not to sell CD's with packages that are over three years old.
> >
> > Actually "Go download it" is not enough.  See:
> >
> I see. So we absolutely can't distribute CD's without accompanying
> distfiles plus pkgsrc. This has an interesting implication, that the
> unified 1.6* directory can't be used to make a CD, unless we
> distribute the entire pkgsrc repository with it (not just a checkout).
> This speak strongly in favor of the school of thought that advocates
> "no binary packages between releases".

If we go there, we will forever be behind Linux, in both appeal to end-users
and ease of package updating. For me, on my NetBSD machines, to update
packages I have to rebuild them because there are never any up to date
binary packages. I was at a friends house recently, who runs Debian, and to
update all his packages he typed one command, it updated about 30 packages
from binaries (he is using debian-unstable) and it took about fifteen
seconds. This is something that has concerned me for some time. Almost all
of the linux flavors have binary packages available all the time, almost
always up to date. We don't.

Another issue, one which would be more properly addressed on tech-security,
is that whenever a new security problem affects NetBSD, there is almost
always a two or three delay in releasing a security advisory, when almost
every Linux and *every* other BSD has an advisory out the same day as the
bug. This makes us look even worse.

I am not a Linux advocate. I am a NetBSD fan 100%. But we're going to lose
users, not gain them, if these problems are not addressed, I think.


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