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strong words about pkgsrc

Hello, pkg techies,

I've been trying to get pkgsrc working properly on IRIX for some time now, 
without a whole lot of success.  I've asked around and found a couple guys that 
have used it pretty extensively over the years, and hoped I could get some tips 
to get me past the bumps.  The latest communication, though, had this to say 
about the state of pkgsrc.

>>> quote >>>
To be honest, I've pretty much given up with pkgsrc/IRIX - it's just too much 
effort to maintain, mainly due to the hideous package-management system which 
uninstalls all dependencies on package upgrade. And if any one of these 
dependant packages needs a tweak in order to build, then you're suddenly in a 
whole world of pain.

In addition, the packaging system has no qualms about removing a core system 
packages which are required even to reinstall the package itself (bash, for 

In addition, my *many* bug reports seem to have gone largely unheeded... whilst 
some of the developers are very keen on keeping their code platform-neutral, 
most just don't seem interested in maintaining support for a very 
low-visibility platform - and, to be honest, understandably so :(

The other reason for this change of heart is that I got Gentoo's Portage up and 
running on IRIX and, for the most part, it runs like a dream :D
<<< quote <<<

What can be done to address concerns such as these?  I know that there is some 
ongoing work regarding some of these issues, and that's a very good thing.  Is 
the problem mainly due to the availability of patch reviewers that have access 
to commit changes?  I am certainly no expert on the core infrastructure of 
pkgsrc, so my own patches have been small ones around the periphery, or for 
individual packages.  But I know what the writer is talking about when he says 
that bug reports and patches often languish in the queue.

Please understand that I don't post this as any kind of condemnation of the 
work that many have already contributed.  I look at it more as a call to 
improve and get better still.


      Tim Larson        AMT2 Unix Systems Administrator
          InterCall, a division of West Corporation

Be always sure you are right, then go ahead. - David Crockett

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