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OpenPackages comments

Hi all,

I'm Will Andrews, a member of the FreeBSD ports team; in particular, I
maintain the KDE/QT ports for FreeBSD.  I've been very interested in the
progress of this project from the beginning.  I, too, think that there
are structural differences between the BSD ports/pkgsrc's that everyone
could gain from.  I'm also here to share my visions for a pkgsrc-utopia.
After all, with more people working together on a primary system with
more heavily mixed interests, we can improve the central repository a
thousand times over all the current systems put together.  :-)

I've just joined the list (thanks to Dan Langille for telling me how to,
since this crucial information isn't available on the openpackages
site.. Chris? ;).

I've got a few comments from what I've read in the archive that Dan sent
I apologize for bringing up old topics, but I was not invited to join
this list in the beginning, and I would have LOVED to participate.  :-)

Also, note that I'm certainly not dictating anything, but simply stating
my opinions.

First, I think that the Right Name (tm) for this project would be
OpenPackages, because: 1) "ports" is a misnomer; NetBSD has it done the
right way: ports = ports to other arches, packages = prebuilt bins etc.,
pkgsrc = source to use to build packages from.  Then, who knows about
the possibilities for this project?  It may expand outside of BSD, and
in fact, with NetBSD-pkgsrc's support for Solaris, it already has.

Second, the location where FreeBSD installs things is really lousy.
/usr/ports (per the above paragraph) is not a great idea; I'd prefer
/usr/pkg or /usr/pkgsrc per NetBSD.  And /usr/opt or /usr/pkg for
installing things.

Third, it should not be difficult to run tag operations on the
openpackages repository, for each OS's releases, and run cvs checkouts
for those tags.  I don't see why we couldn't schedule these accordingly.
We are all mature people, right?

Fourth, package management tools should be centralized, at least for the
BSDs.  For other OSs (such as Linux), we can write hooks in the core
Makefile magic to call the appropriate RPM/Dpkg/Deb/whatever programs to
generate the appropriate packages.  Perhaps if things change enough over
time, we can have pkg_* for these other OS's.  And maybe for OS's
without package management tools, we can simply port the pkg_* tools.
Not that I think this should be much of a priority, but I definitely
think the openpackages project should not limit its scope to BSD.  After
all, these tools are supposed to help system administrators.
Differences among the various tools used in pkgsrc/ports on various OS's
should be accounted for in the structure of openpkgs.

Fifth, the fact that the FreeBSD make(1) does not support :C or :L is a
non-issue.  I can and will be happy to integrate it in the make(1) code,
if it will help the openpackages project, and if there's a good reason
to add it to the code (which I am sure NetBSD/OpenBSD discussed, since
they appear slightly more conservative than FreeBSD, as far as code

Sixth, I'm sort of mixed as far as package file naming conventions go,
WRT OS's and ARCH's.  It seems like the ${ARCH}-${VER}-${OS}-${PKGNAME}
scheme might work best.  But it's kinda bulky.. not like the
RH/Debian/etc system is any different though!  :-)

Seventh, anything that can be done in simple perl that's in the FreeBSD
ports tree can be converted to sed/awk.  It's really no big deal if
NetBSD doesn't have it in their tree.. I think the OpenBSD guys will
also yield this fact.. :)

Eighth, has anyone given some thought to adding support to the package
system to support network-wide builds/installs/configurations?  I.e.,
set things up for multiple arches/OSs on a large network.  A friend at
Purdue Physics Computer Network brought up this issue to me, and I was
left pondering where it would fit in the OpenPackages magic.  Anyway, he
will be joining the list as soon as I get in touch with him again..
he'll be better able to describe the needs of this sort of thing.

Anyway.. time to sleep..

Will Andrews <will@physics.purdue.edu> <will@FreeBSD.org>
GCS/E/S @d- s+:+ a--- C++ UB++++$ P+ L- E--- W+ N-- !o ?K w---
O- M+ V- PS+ PE++ Y+ PGP+>+++ t++ 5 X+ R+ tv+ b++ DI+++ D+ 
G++ e>++++ h! r- y?

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