David O'Brien <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> types:
> On Sun, Dec 10, 2000 at 11:33:33PM -0600, Mike Meyer wrote:
> > The thing is, the package system has grown into something more than
> > that. It really is vendor-supplied and vendor-supported third party
> > software, and part of the distribution.
> I can back this up.  As someone that maintains over 120 FreeBSD Ports, I
> get all kinds of email wanting support and this and that tweak in the
> Port (and thus pre-compiled Package) that they don't want to have to
> download the distfile and do the hacks themselves.  In fact many of our
> Ports have quite a bit of patching to add very significant functionality
> changes than one would get if they took the distfile, built and installed
> the software the way the author intended them to.  Thus the Ports
> Collection Packages are something very specific to FreeBSD and are not
> just random 3rd party software.

I'm one of the people who send patches to the port maintainer. There
are a couple of reasons for this. First, I get the *port* fixed faster
that way. In some cases, the original author wasn't interested in the
fixes, or was to busy to issue a new release, so the only way to get
those into the port was through the port maintainer. The alternative
was to quit building those from ports, and start building them as
locally maintained software so I could apply the patches.

Another reason is that I've found the port maintainer usually has a
working relationship with the software author, and so patches that
he's reviewed and passed on to the author get dealt with faster than
if I sent them on myself. In at least one case, sending patches to the
author was completely ignored. Sending them to the port maintainer got
the port fixed in a matter of days, and the patches forwarded to the
software author were added to the system for the next release (at
which time the port patches could go away).


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