BSD is dying

Brian Somers brian at
Thu Aug 4 10:18:47 BST 2005

On Wed, 3 Aug 2005 15:23:52 +0100 Paul Robinson <paul at> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 03, 2005 at 12:11:33PM +0100, Brian Somers wrote:
> > whole "what do you want out of your release engineering department"
> > argument.
> Most organisations genuinely do not want release engineering. The reason
> why portupgrade is so successful is because instead of having to track a
> gazillion mailing lists, I can do:
> # cvsup -g -L1 /root/ports-supfile
> # pkg_version -l '<'
> ... peruse list to see what might break...
> # portupgrade -a
> If it wasn't for the fact I had to go over a version number with
> buildworld, I'd still be doing binary updates as well.

I probably didn't make things very clear by what I meant here.  I
was alluding to the practice of releasing software that can be
reliably rebuilt with just the source code repository and a pristine
uninstalled build machine (or set of machines).

Binary packages are useless in a corporate environment because you
don't know if you can rebuild them (after fixing a bug) -- the only
way to know this is to build them before you release them.  As you
know, it's not ok to just upgrade the package -- you *only* want
to fix that one bug, otherwise your whole test cycle is invalid and
confidence levels plummet.

> I look after a lot of servers. I write a lot of code. I write reports,
> have meetings to go to, try and help run seminars and events, and
> occasionally I like to try and have a normal life.
> I don't want release engineering tasks.
> I want to type in 3 commands.
> Always.

Sounds like you're overworked!!  It also sounds like you don't have
the same goals as a big corporate.  If you did, you'd either do it
yourself or hire a release engineer 8*P

Bear in mind that on the other topic of "FreeBSD on the desktop",
the three commands thing is very valid (it's just a pity that those
three commands on linux are different but incompatible versions of
the same command - have you ever tried upgrading between Fedora
major versions?).

Brian Somers                                          <brian at>
Don't _EVER_ lose your sense of humour !               <brian at>

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