On Apr 20, 2016, at 10:54 AM, Slawa Olhovchenkov <s...@zxy.spb.ru> wrote:

>> A packaged base is just another way of describing the state of the
>> system.  People on mailing lists will still be able to help people
>> fix their problems, but they'll just use different information to
>> pinpoint the precise components affected.
> How identify this systems? By 800-line lists of package versions?

In my experience, troubleshooting usually proceeds from the description of the 
symptoms.  So, if someone says, "I just updated and Sendmail has stopped 
sending e-mails," or "I just updated and I can no longer SSH into my system," 
then the logical question is to ask what versions of the packages they're 
running that pertain to those binaries.  In other words, you start at the 
symptom and work outwards from there.  In my experience, it's not necessary to 
have an exact inventory of a system to be able to solve a problem with it.

A tool like pkg makes it easy to know which package is associated with a given 
file and also which packages that package depends upon and which are 
dependencies of it.  So, pkg makes it relatively painless to zoom in or out 
from a given symptom (i.e., binary or library that might have changed).  I 
don't believe this is possible in the current FreeBSD setup.  This is a huge 
gain in functionality.



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