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Just a rant about FreeBSD's portupgrade/pkgdb system

Mar 2007

FreeBSD's portupgrade is pretty handy - but I wish some of the geeks who write this stuff would learn to communicate a bit better.

Sometimes you'll see something like this:

Stale dependency: eel-2.14.1 -> pciids-20070225 (misc/pciids):

"Install stale dependency? ([y]es/[n]o/[a]all) [yes]"

umm.. is that really asking if I want to install something that is old and stale? 

It's not clear to me what they mean by this - because in the example above pciids-20070225 appears to have been the latest version at the time. So perhaps it really means 'Fix stale dependency". I generally answer yes and am left with the uneasy feeling that everything is held together with digital sticky-tape. A bit of clarity in the output of some of these tools would go a long way. 

The man pages for portupgrade & pkgdb have very little to say on the word 'stale', the FreeBSD handbook has even less to say.

ju li-an at vector-stream dot com
(remove the dashes to email)

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