Subject: the netbsd way
To: None <>
From: Marc Espie <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 10/31/2006 11:32:08
I finally got around to looking at your slide for the pkgsrc convention.

One thing that strikes me though is that, even though some of you
talked about FreeBSD's package system, there is absolutely no mention
of the way OpenBSD does things.

Do you guys live in a vacuum ? I find that hard to believe.

I'm pretty certain some of you know about OpenBSD, even have tried it.

But it's weird that it never made its way into any of the design discussions
you had.

When I do design work, I always `keep up with the jones'. I am aware of
pkgviews, of buildlink, of your new infrastructure to build stuff without
becoming root (which is a bit too high maintenance for my tastes), 
or of pkglint, which is indeed desireable.

Heck, I even took part in Hubert Feyrer's rejoicing when you finally got
something that looks like the fake framework in OpenBSD.

From where I stand, it looks like the old feud is still alive and well.

Guys, it's 2006, there is absolutely no reason to ignore OpenBSD. Are we
still at war ? For that matter, I came to OpenBSD recently enough to not
even know most of the old farts who started that was (except for Theo, for
obvious reasons, who IS an obnoxious old fart indeed ;-) ).

To tackle some of the subjects of the convention, PLEASE have a look at
OpenBSD. We took some different roads, but we have some experience in
some of these subjects.

We rewrote our pkgtools infrastructure. It does handle special stuff
in packing-lists. It does handle dependencies gracefully, especially
during package delete. It does handle the creation of new users. It
does handle the in-place update of one package (and along the way, we
discovered that it is not quite enough, because files change packages,
so you have to handle atomic update of small package sets, say
kdelibs+kdebase, whenever a file changes homes). We also discovered some
really weird things, like dependency inversions (the cairo stuff in gnome
means that we got from a-0.0 -> b-0.0   to b-1.0 -> a-1.0, really weird).
There's no reason you need to run into the same issues we did.

I agree with Roland Illig that pkgsrc sucks. We have addressed quite a few
of these concerns. In fact, our current clean-ups involve formal checking
of file permissions and ownership, then turning on a more paranoid mode
for pkg_create/pkg_add.

I don't have high hopes there. I expect that this email will be ignored
like most of the stuff I post to this list....