Jonathan Wallace wrote:
I think lack of disk space is a poor excuse for an organization distributing an OS. This isn't the 90's. 500GB drives are $99.00 at newegg and that's enough to hold the OS, ports, and packages for 50 releases (at least). Surely the decision not to keep older releases where pkg_add() can find them by default, could not have been made based upon lack of disk space.
Uh, we don't store the main FTP site on crappy lowest common denominator hardware (thank god). New shelves for netapp filers are slightly more than $99 (but if you'd like to donate us one that would be nice). Also, you're way off on your size estimates. A release is currently about 60-80GB, and that is more space than is free on the filer. Which is why 6.2 had to be moved off-site.
There's no documentation about ftp-archive here http://www.freebsd.org/ports/index.html, here http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/packages-using.html, or even if I go to www.freebsd.org and try to use the search tool to find any reference to "ftp archive". That's great that you (as a FreeBSD contributor) know where to find the old release packages, and great that I do now as well. But it really sucks that I had to spend this much time finding that information when it could be documented in the handbook or some other obvious location. Certainly, it would seem, one of the reasons Jordan wrote pkg_add() was for ease of use in regards to finding and installing packages. That work is just as certainly trivialized when people at FreeBSD make bad decisions that cause the command not to work "out of the box" and further causes a user to jump through hoops to discover how to use the command for releases that are hardly more than a few years old.
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