Mike Meyer writes:
 > Sure, the software in ports/packages aren't part of FreeBSD. Using
 > that to claim they should have the same status or treatment as locally
 > written or maintained software is a rationalization.

You are simply wrong in your characterization of /usr/local.  As far
back as I can remember, /usr/local has been used for locally installed
software as separate from the default software in /bin and /usr/bin.  I
have personally use /usr/local to install software obtained from Usenet
since at least 1983.  I estimate that 90% of my /usr/local use has been
for software obtained over some network distribution mechanism, and only
10% has been for actually locally written software.

When the BSD started, they tried to distinguish between /usr/local and
/usr/public, but that never took hold.  Certainly, when GNU
distributions started, the FSF very quickly took up the then default
(from the long history of standardized distributions in the moderated
unix source newsgroups, both before and after the great renaming) usage
of /usr/local as the place for network distributed software packages.

Certainly, when I think of packages, I think first of the Usenet
tradition of shar-packaging.  Only when the great UNIX wars started did
vendors need to come up with their own binary packaging mechanisms.
Each vendor supplied their own packaging commands, as SunOS did long
before Solaris (really SYSVR4).  The correspondence between ports and
packages in FreeBSD is really quite separate from the distribution
packages.  Simply because a package exists does not make it part of the
distribution.  At least FreeBSD uses a different nomenclature for each,
unlike Red Hat which calls everything an RPM and you can't tell the
difference between what Red Hat officially includes in the system and
what is simply a pre-compiled port.


distribution: officially part of FreeBSD.

port: A set of patches, source and makefiles to ease the process of
installing third part software.

package: A pre-compiled port.

I don't have any problem seeing the distinction between a port/package
and the official FreeBSD distributions.


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