Subject: Re: sys_errlist[]
To: Chris G. Demetriou <>
From: Tim Rightnour <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/23/1998 05:04:05
On 22-Mar-98 Chris G. Demetriou spoke unto us all:
# Check out pkgsrc/emulators/compat*.  (Thanks to for
# doing the right thing... 8-)

Yes.. I just saw that go in the other day..  I must say that was a fine thing
for him to do..

# > Thus if I have a machine which has a ton of user bins for like 1.1, or
# > 0.9-current (which I do.. and I'm slowly hacking things over, and making

# (1) -current is your own problem.  You run -current, it's up to you to
# keep the right shared libs around if you need them.

Yes.. this is true.. Which is why I'm not complaining..  I have just as many..
if not more broken binaries from 1.1.  (X is also largeley responsible for
breaking my binaries.. I really wish I had the disk space back then to keep
these source tars..)

# (2) Why bother compiling.  Just pull them out of old releases.

Well.. I mainly mean user *generated* binaries.. Like X applications, and other
fine programs..  

My point to all this really is though.. 
People like myself.. who want to run ancient bins because they can't find the
source..  We are stuck with a lib directory that slowly grows into a monster. I
agree that a better way of doing things must be found.. But I've also noticed
that really ancient stuff (1.0 and 0.9 shared lib binaries) break *really*
badly if you just symlink the libs they want..  I'm not sure we can keep
backwards compatibility forever in a single library. If we try to.. we will
really reget that in about 3 years when libc is a monster.

There also comes a point when libs and .h files become wholly unreadable
because they are covered in relocations pointing every which way.  I'm not
saying the pkgsrc way of doing things isn't broken too.... but how else can you
cleanly provide compatability for ancient stuff.

# Now if only the package tools were 'easily accessible' during system
# installation, so you could easily decide to install those packages...

Amen.. I really lament the descision not to include the pkgsrc tree in the 1.3
distribution tarballs.  Its very useful.. and alot of newer users simply have
no clue that it is available.  Another useful tool.. btw.. might be a pkg_add
that grabs the precompiled tar file via ftp..  but.. thats a different issue.

Tim Rightnour    -