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Re: building foreign packages with pkgsrc

On Sat, Jun 22, 2019 at 07:30:18AM -0600, Brook Milligan wrote:
> Long ago there was a GSOC project [1] mentioned in pkgsrc-users [2] for
> supporting foreign package formats (e.g., FreeBSD, RPM, DPKG, etc.).
> It seems that pkgformat infrastructure exists in mk/pkgformat (and
> seems to be used for package creation) but it only supports native
> pkgsrc packages.

It's been attempted in the past, yes.

> Was there ever support for other formats?

AFAIK, nothing fully working.

> Is there any interest in supporting other formats?

Sure, otherwise the above wouldn't have happened :)

> How complicated would it be to support other formats using this framework?

The primary issue is the impedance mismatch between pkgsrc and other
systems. I'm not talking about building packages that use / or /usr as
PREFIX to integrate into the "base" system. That never was the goal of
the efforts, but using rpm/dpkg/whatever to manage things. Now all
packaging systems have some ways to specify dependencies, but the
specifics of the syntax are different enough that converting
automatically just doesn't work well enough. The most usable of the
existing approaches (IMO) was gensol to create native Solaris packages
and those I think essentially hard-wired the dependencies to the exact
set used for build. That works well for a role out, but isn't too useful
for incremental updates and the like.


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