[Catalog-sig] From a BSD point of view...

Johann Visagie johann@egenetics.com
Mon, 23 Apr 2001 12:44:52 +0200

Hi there,

Apologies for being a johnny-come-lately;  I only found out about this SIG
when I read the Slashdot interview.  :-)

My interest in the discussion here is simple:  I currently maintain the
FreeBSD ports of a couple of Python tools (the one with the highest profile
probably being PyXML), and what happens here will determine how easy or
difficult that task will be in future.

I note that the FreeBSD ports system was listed under "other systems to look
at" in the very first posting to the SIG's list by Andrew Kuchling
(2000-11-08).  Here are a few documents you may wish to look at, and/or add
to the list of "other catalog systems" on the SIG's web pages:

The FreeBSD porter's handbook:


The Open Packages project, currently still in a very early stage, aims to
provide a unified packaging system across all BSD-derived operating systems
(including MacOS X).  I believe their aim is also to make it flexible enough
to be adopted by other operating systems, distributions or projects:


(It seems everyone and their maiden aunt is building a packaging system
nowadays. :-)

Finally, an interesting recent addition to FreeBSD has been "BSDPAN".
Basically a number of extensions to Perl's MakeMaker, BSDPAN causes perlmods
installed via CPAN.pm (or via "perl Makefile.PL && make install") to register
themselves with the FreeBSD package database exactly as if they had been
installed from a port (and are therefore simple to uninstall, and can satisfy
dependency requests, etc.)  In summary, it "merges" Perl and FreeBSD's
packaging systems from the user's point of view.  The following mailing list
posting is relevant:


Ideally (for me), it would be nice to have BSDPAN-like functionality for
Python ports/packages in FreeBSD one day.

I've only skim-read the SIG archives and PEPs.  I'm about to go on leave for
a week;  when I return I hope to have the time to look at the proposed
catalog system(s) in considerably more detail.  If there's enough info to go
on I may try to implement a BSDPAN-like prototype, if only for my own
edification.  Hopefully I can give some useful feedback then.

-- Johann