Subject: Re: debian :)
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Johnny C. Lam <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/13/2005 04:46:27
On Thu, Jan 13, 2005 at 02:17:16AM +0100, Hubert Feyrer wrote:
> Anyone wanna show how much simpler pkgsrc works?

pkgsrc's release structure is simpler, but the complexity of the Debian
model is based on the fact that their packaging model isn't as
"centralized" as pkgsrc.  By "centralized", I'm referring to the way
that packages are built, since each package build only depends on the
installed packages, so you're free to modify individual packages
without breaking *how* other packages are built.  pkgsrc lacks this
property because the build infrastructure makes many packages dependent
on each other when building, e.g. changes to files affect
packages all over pkgsrc.

This "centralized" property of pkgsrc is what dictates our release
model -- we branch pkgsrc and label an entire snapshot in time as
being "stable".  Debian, because their packages are "decentralized",
can label individual packages as "stable".  Personally, I would like
to make pkgsrc more decentralized so that we can be more flexible
about labeling a particular set of packages as stable.  I think there
are a lot of advantages, particularly for security fixes.  It would
be nice to incorporate their advantages into pkgsrc and still maintain
our own advantages, such as a lower barrier to creating and maintaining

I'm not really trying to start a long thread here... this is just my
2 cents on this issue of comparing pkgsrc to Debian's package system.


	-- Johnny Lam <>