Giorgos Keramidas wrote:

> Before I answer to this question, I cannot help noting that you don't
> *HAVE* to compile everything from source.  In fact, if you install a
> RELEASE version of FreeBSD and use pkg_add to install the binary,
> precompiled packages of just the applications you are going to
> use... there is absolutely no need to rebuild anything from source.

True for the CDs. But once you want to upgrade, things get more complicated. For example, I did not find a package for OpenOffice 1.1.1 in the "offical" places, although OO is certainly an excellent candidate for a package. This led me to the conclusion that packages, in the FBSD world, are considered less important than the very well maintained ports.

I would prefer it to be the other way round: go for packages, unless you want to tweak anything.

> Now, some of us -- actually, I feel that this is a large percentage of
> the FreeBSD users, if the amount of questions posted here on this list
> is of any significance at all -- a great percentage of us likes trimming
> our installations; we like building our packages with the exact options
> and feature sets that *we* prefer.  In such cases, having the ability to
> build from source is absolutely marvelous.

I agree with that argument, you can tailor the compilation. But it's probably not systematical, but rather the exception.

I do not agree with an earlier argument, which was that you could change the source. I have been programming for 25 years now, I am certain that you don't change code, not even in a reasonably sized project, without spending a large amount of time.

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