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[ANNOUNCEMENT] The pkgsrc-2008Q4 Branch

The pkgsrc-2008Q4 Branch

The pkgsrc developers are very proud to announce the new pkgsrc-2008Q4
branch, which has support for even more packages than previous branches. 
As well as updated versions of many packages, the infrastructure of
pkgsrc itself has been improved for better platform and compiler

At the same time, the pkgsrc-2008Q3 branch has been deprecated, and
continuing engineering starts on the pkgsrc-2008Q4 branch.

The pkgsrc-2008Q4 branch celebrates 5 years of quarterly branching
within pkgsrc, and we would like to thank all of our users and
developers for using the world's most portable packaging system - to
all of the users, developers and supporters a very large "Thank you"
from all of us.

Some highlights of the new pkgsrc-2008Q4 branch are:

+ Jared McNeill has introduced pulseaudio to pkgsrc, which is a huge
boost, giving pkgsrc the benefits of one of the best audio systems
+ our GNOME packages have been updated by Thomas Klausner, and much
work has been done on the HAL layer within GNOME by Jared McNeill.  We
also now have improved zeroconf support through the avahi package -
our thanks to Adam Hoka for that.
+ more packages have been moved to install into a staging directory,
thanks to Joerg Sonnenberger
+ improved support for AIX, again, from Joerg Sonnenberger
+ many, many packages have been updated to newer versions, to take
advantage of fixes and improved functionality.  The following versions
of packages are included in the pkgsrc-2008Q4 branch:

        + apache-2.2.11
        + firefox- and firefox-3.0.5nb2
        + gnome-2.24.2
        + kde-3.5.10
        + mysql-5.0.67
        + openoffice-2.4.2nb3 and openoffice-3.0.0nb7
        + perl-5.10.0
        + postgresql-8.2.11 and postgresql-8.3.5
        + python-2.5.2nb4
        + ruby-
        + samba-3.0.32nb2
        + seamonkey-1.1.13
        + wireshark-1.0.4nb1
        + zope-3.3.1

+ other notable changes include
        + Kouichirou Hiratsuka has added Openoffice 3 to pkgsrc
        + Stoned Elipot and Havard Eidnes have made it their personal
          goal to incorporate all the CPAN packages into pkgsrc. They
          have recently been joined in their quest by Ulrich Habel.
        + the vlc package continues to be updated, again by Jared
          McNeill - it is now at version 0.9.8a 
        + we bid a fond thanks, and farewell, to some old favourites,
          such as python 1.5, nail, bidwatcher, jssi, jsdk20, grail,
          and zope-2.5
        + the perl package has been upgraded to version 5.10 - a
          side effect of this is that binary packages of perl modules
          made with perl-5.8 and earlier versions are incompatible
          with perl-5.10
        + the addition of some interesting, pertinent, and shiny
          packages such as parpd, openoffice3, twitux, consolekit,
          policykit, hal, sslproxy, diffuse, gstfs, openresolv,
          and pulseaudio and related packages. 

The list of platforms supported by pkgsrc is AIX, BSD/OS, Darwin (Mac
OS X), DragonFly BSD, FreeBSD, HP/UX, IRIX, Interix, Linux, NetBSD,
OSF1, OpenBSD, QNX and SunOS (Solaris).  We are aware that support for
some platforms is at a more mature stage than others, and would like
to encourage feedback from users and developers on our more esoteric

+ continuing engineering on the "stable" branches of pkgsrc continues
to work well, and our release engineering team has done a marvellous
job in pulling up changes to the stable branch.  Our thanks go to
Geert Hendrickx, Matthias Scheler, and Tyler Retzlaff for all the hard
work they do in sanity checking pullup requests, and managing the
stable branches in pkgsrc.

+ constant bulk building on a number of platforms has improved our
ability to identify potential areas of concern, and to correct them
sooner.  It has also improved our ability to make binary packages
available, and we are working on ways to improve this further.  For
more information, please refer to the pkgsrc-bulk mailing list,
archives available at

+ the number of packages has been increased to 8121; the number of
supported platforms is currently 14, with another one on the horizon. 
NetBSD, on all its supported architectures, is considered to be one
pkgsrc platform.

As always, we'd like to encourage users of the packages collection to
audit-packages at least every day - this will provide notification of
any packages which are vulnerable to exploit.  Audit-packages is now
part of the new pkg_install tools, and is now much quicker.  We have
removed the old audit-packages package in this pkgsrc release. 

OBATA Akio has been a member of the pkgsrc-security team for some time
now, adding to Adrian Portelli and Tonnerre Lombard, and has made a
lot of additions to the list of vulnerable packages - a very useful
and thorough job - we are grateful to them all.  The pkgsrc-security team
do a marvellous job in tracking notifications of vulnerabilities in
packages, and disseminating this information, and our sincere thanks
go to them for this essential work.

We'd also really appreciate it if people would install the
pkgsrc/pkgtools/pkgsurvey package, and then run the pkgsurvey script
for us.  This will forward us a list of the packages installed on that
machine, and the operating system and release level of the operating
system.  The results will be kept confidential, but the output will
help us analyse the packages that are most used.

The source tar files for the new branch can be found at:

You can also use the "pkgsrc-2008Q4" tag to check it out yourself from or any of the mirrors.

Alistair Crooks
On behalf of the Packages Team
The NetBSD Foundation

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