Subject: Re: Reimplementing the /usr/contrib directory hierarchy
To: Igor Sobrado <email@example.com>
From: Bang Jun-Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 01/03/2003 02:12:34
On Thu, Jan 02, 2003 at 03:41:48PM +0100, Igor Sobrado wrote:
> 1. It is useful to differentiate between software that is under the
> control of the NetBSD Foundation, and other software packages.
> Software that is not being maintained by the NetBSD Foundation
> can be moved to /usr/contrib. Some examples are gzip, bzip2,
> rcs, cvs, and so on.
"can be" can't be a sufficient condition for "useful". We _could_ even
have /usr/gnu, /usr/ibm, /usr/freebsd, /usr/openbsd, ..., but what are
they useful for?
> 2. It allows the NetBSD maintainers to reduce the risks derived from
> running software that is not under the NetBSD Foundation control.
> There are a lot of examples showing those risks. Even if some of
> those risks will never happen, other are real threats that must
> be considered.
> An example of the former is the implementation of bzip2 provided
> by Sun Microsystems (SUNW) in Solaris 8. They ported an old
> release (0.9.x) of bzip2 to Solaris. It is a mostly working
> version of that good compression tool, but it has a race condition
> (only observed in the Solaris operating system) that sometimes
> removes both the compressed file and the original file when
> compression process in interrupted. They will not provide an
> updated bzip2 release through the patch system (either as a public
> patch or as a private patch) and it is a required component, that
> cannot be removed from the system without breaking key components
> like the patching subsystem itself.
> An example of the latter has been recently observed in FreeBSD.
> Perl was a required component of FreeBSD (up to release 4.7 and,
> soon, 4.8). Perl is not under the control of the FreeBSD
> developers. Each stable release doubles the size of the previous
> stable version, making it too big (currently over 40MB).
These examples have nothing to do with directory hierachy. If they were
placed under /usr/contrib, how could they avoid the problem?
> 3. It allows the NetBSD Foundation to recover the nice design
> provided by 4.4BSD/Lite and 4.4BSD/Lite2 releases.
Probably it was removed because it was not needed any more.
Bang Jun-Young <email@example.com>