And what about the case of a port that would be built many times over
its lifetime, mainly due to program version changes? The first one
that springs to mind would be Firefox. Firefox has had a number of
version changes in the same space of time that Exim, a very commonly
used mail server application, has been updated, and assuming an even
distribution of mail servers and desktop users with firefox, firefox
would appear to be 10-20 times more active over it's lifetime.

And your point being?

It is also common for people with a desktop computer to format their
HDD every 3 months or so, and every time this occured, the desktop PC
ports (Xorg, Firefox, KDE/XFCE/GNOME,, etc.) would get
a rebuild/redownload, again throwing the stastics out of whack.

No its still being used isnt it which is what we are interested in.

I'm sorry, but when I read the continual posts on this topic, all stated that the count would occur while installing, not in usage. If the suggestion was that the FreeBSD system would report what packages where being used on a regular basis (the only way to properly record what ports/packages were being used), then that is an entirely seperate discussion, and one that I have not addressed to this point. However, If that was your suggestion, then I am extremely glad that is not how the ports system currently operates, for the same reason I am glad that spyware is not installed on my computer.

If you do not have a regular reporting to home base mechanism in place, then how would you be able to monitor what is "still being used .. which is what we are interested in"?
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