Subject: About bloat (was Re: Proposal for new utility in base: bin/nc)
To: None <>
From: Lasse =?iso-8859-1?Q?Hiller=F8e?= Petersen <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/14/2001 12:42:05
At 4:36 +0200 13/10/01, James Chacon wrote:
>And for those cases, use pkgsrc and install nc then.
>If we try to include all the "cool" tools people want then half of the devel
>tree, most of the sysutils, etc out of pkgsrc would end up in the base system.
>(lsof, perl, ttcp, the list goes on...)
>That's bloat we don't need and I still have yet to hear anything convincing
>that this tool falls into the "system is difficuly/useless without it"
>catagory. This is the *whole point* of pkgsrc..

I think NetBSD, both in the main sets and in the package system, could
benefit from more decoupling. As an example, one of the first packages I
wanted to install (from pkgsrc) on a freshly installed system, happened to
depend on autoconf (I think?), which itself depended on something else (?),
which finally depended on *perl*, so that in order to install this little
useful tool, I actually had to get and install the entire perl system,
which I consider large and bloated. I find such dependencies annoying. By
removing  unnecessary dependencies, and perhaps including some "stubs" to
replace some requirements, it would become possible to decouple more
things. For example, if some "stub" sendmail replacement, with only the
bare necessary functionality to deliver mail locally, was in the base sets,
then people would have to _decide_ whether to install Sendmail or Postfix
(or something else), and these two competing - and thus mutually redundant
- subsystems could be removed completely into pkgsrc instead of both being
included with the system. Same with vi; I install vim, so I have no use for
the nvi in the system. (I can easily make do with plain old ed until I get
vim installed.)

In this age of bloat, I believe NetBSD could distinguish itself favourably
by _reducing_ bloat, instead of increasing it. Leave the bloating to the
Linux and FreeBSD people.

Of course you may want to take this with a grain of salt, as I'm also the
kind of guy who considers dropping xfce in favor of twm, because I think
xfce is becoming bloated. :-)