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Re: [alpine-devel] Alpine ports layout

From: Jakub Jirutka <>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2017 18:06:14 +0200

>>>> Does OpenSSH belong in security/, net/, admin/, or something else?
>>> security. net/ is for dhcpcd/openvpn/vnc kind of stuff. admin/ doesn't
>>> even exist in Net/OpenBSDs.
>> Why? This is just arbitrary decision, it’s not obvious nor intuitive. On Gentoo, I usually remember package name, but not the category, so I must always look in what damn category the package is located.
> I’d like to add to this that I think security is possibly the worst category
> out of the given choices to put this in. OpenSSH’s purpose is not primarily
> security — its primary purpose is administering a system remotely, security
> is simply a bycoming necessity for that.
This just demonstrates weakness of categories. Categories (usually defined as: object may be in a single category only, categories are a predefined and narrow set of names) are almost always worse idea and does not really suite real world. Tags (usually defined as: object may have multiple tags, tags are an open set of names) are almost always better. It’s very obvious in this case, so I hope it’s not needed to prove it by studies…

>>> Anyway, if there would be a heated discussion on where a port whould be
>>> placed, we can look at BSDs and simply copy. Take a quick glance at
>>>, I think the way the ports are organised is sane.
>> Alpine Linux is not BSD. If you want BSD’s repository layout, use BSD.
> This is really not an argument on its own, as we take plenty of cues from BSD.
> I like categorisation too but I’m not quite sure if it would fit for us, however.

Yes, but still arguments in style “BSD has this, so we should too” should be invalid.

>> Again, Alpine is not BSD and it’d be quite silly to blindly adopt practices from BSD, especially in packaging (I’ve never heard anything positive about packaging on BSD even from BSD users…)
> For the record, I have, and also from Gentoo’s packaging system which takes cues
> from BSD as well.

Gentoo packaging system is very different from package manager that does not even properly handle dependencies, big pile of Makefiles, basically absence of sane update mechanism for ports… Anyway, this is irrelevant.

The main point is that adding categories (like in Gentoo or BSD) to improve discoverability of packages is provably very, very bad and insufficient solution and we know about much better solutions.


Received on Sat Sep 02 2017 - 18:06:14 UTC