On Fri, 10 Apr 2009 15:25:13 +0100, Chris Whitehouse <cwhi...@onetel.com> wrote:
> Is there a quick way to find out how big are the tarballs without 
> downloading them all or adding them up one by one?

I think it's possible to obtain an FTP ls listing and then use
awk to get the column with the size (in bytes) and add them,
printing the final result and maybe converting it into MB, GB
if needed.

> Would anyone want a five year old package?

Yes, I would, because today's packages are sooo slooow. :-)

Just as an unimportant sidenote: The FreeBSD OS is capable in
gaining speed on the same (old) hardware with every release.
So I can install it today on a 150 MHz P1 with 128 MB RAM
without any problems, and it will run fast. But I cannot use
today's applications on that system as I could the older ones,
such as StarOffice, older Opera versions, older Mplayer versions,
older X-Chat versions etc. because all of them depend on newer
libraries (including, excuse me, bloat) that would render the
system nearly unusable speed-wise (see the big "jump" in Gtk,
compare usability and speed of X-Chat 1 vs. X-Chat 2, or the
transition of Sylpheed from Gtk 1 toolset to Gtk 2 toolset).
Disk occupation is, of course, another topic. If you've got
only a 4 GB hard disk which could hold a fully functional and
feature-rich system of FreeBSD 5, it's hard to achieve this
with FreeBSD 7 and its set of applications because of the many
dependencies (just have a look at how Gtk and Gnome stuff
can fill your hard disk, maybe you want to use gmplayer "only").

> A big difference with PBI's is that each PBI is self contained "with all 
> the files and libraries necessary for the installed program to function" 
> (quote from the website). Upside is that it is very easy to install and 
> avoids dependency problems. Downside is that it requires more bandwidth 
> to download and more disk space.

Another problem is that if a minor (but important) library change
appears that does require the update of the library, but not of the
dependent applications, that new PBIs have to be built and installed,
while the traditional way would suggest to update the library only.

But I don't think customers of PC-BSD will be interested in such
"geek stuff". PC-BSD is fine for average users who install once,
use then, update very few times.

> I did wonder if it would make sense to just use the PBI system. The 
> number of packages depends to some extent on individuals volunteering to 
> make and maintain them - true FreeBSD style.

Allthough I prefer the traditional and well intended ways, I could
live with PBI as long as there's an automated way to install them,
read: command line, ability for batch processing. I simply don't
want to waste time for "Next, next, okay, next, next, next, reboot." :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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