On 19 Apr 2016, at 19:42, Matthew Grooms wrote:

I suspect that most of the negative reactions people are having is due to the line being blurred between the base system and everything else. Historically there has always been a clear distinction. By packaging base and throwing it in with everything else, you erase that distinction.

I certainly agree that the distinction is changing, but I wouldn't say it's being erased. In fact, I'd argue that a packaged base system will clarify the conversation around the base/not-base dichotomy by forcing us to think about the underlying distinctions rather than of the delivery mechanism. For instance, I'd say that the biggest blurring between base and ports doesn't come from packages, it comes from vendor branches.

If the base system is "an atomic, maintained-by-us snapshot of all the stuff you need to get a computer running and bootstrap your applications"... well, first, stop me here if I'm wrong!

Assuming I'm not entirely wrong: we have lots of code in base that is "built by the FreeBSD project" and entirely maintained by "us". However, there is also a lot of code in base that comes from an upstream source and is primarily maintained by "them" (who may overlap with "us"), yet is essential to building or using the FreeBSD base system. This is a necessity of modern life (compilers are good), and yet I'm not entirely clear on the distinction between a lightly-patched compiler that lives in our source tree and a lightly-patched compiler that lives in the ports tree. So, now that the base compiler and a ports compiler will be installed using the same tools, it might be worth thinking about how they're really different (if at all).

Not that there are any good answers...

Jonathan Anderson
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