"Charles Ulrich" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> Just out of curiosity, is it incorrect to simply say that ports build
> packages?

No, packages are indeed built from ports.

>           That is, once a piece of software is installed with 'make install',
> is it treated the same as any package that was installed from the installation
> CD? 

Not only are they handled the same, but once installed, they are
completely indistinguishable.

>     (If not, or if the relationship is really a whole lot more complex than
> that, then my rant below doesn't apply.)

You understand it perfectly, except for the fact that the noun
"package" is often used to refer to a tar file which can be fed to

> A lot of new users can't readily tell the difference between a port and
> package and frequently use the two terms interchangably. The handbook gives an
> overview of both ports and package but stops short of clearly spelling out
> this important distinction.

You mean where it says:

   For any given application, the FreeBSD package for that application is a
   single file which you must download. The package contains pre-compiled
   copies of all the commands for the application, as well as any
   configuration files or documentation. A downloaded package file can be
   manipulated with FreeBSD package management commands, such as pkg_add(1),
   pkg_delete(1), pkg_info(1), and so on. Installing a new application can be
   carried out with a single command.

   A FreeBSD port for an application is a collection of files designed to
   automate the process of compiling an application from source code.

That seems pretty clear about the distinction to me.

>                             But at the same time, it also implies that ports
> and packages are two completely separate ways of installing software when in
> reality they are actually two parts of the same system.

I'd say that they're actually two different ways of accessing the same
database; a slight difference of emphasis...

>                                                         The phrase "ports
> build packages" is a neat and efficient way of rectifying the
> misunderstandings that can occur when trying to give a proper explanation of
> FreeBSD package management.

A quick search on the FAQ and Handbook gives me the impression that
most generic references discuss installing from "ports and(/or)
packages" rather than one or the other.

If you think you see specific places to improve the documentation,
please write it up and submit it in a Problem Report.  FreeBSD is,
after all, a volunteer project...;2~
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