Based on the discussion we've been having to date, I think one
of the first things we need to do is develop a policy regarding
how Debian should work a "ports" methodology into its existing
My initial thought is that we should base such an animal on
Debian's existing source+diff methods, with perhaps a bit more
checking for system requirements (libraries, tools, etc.) This
would allow us to eventually allow dselect/apt to administer
a set of binary and source packages on a BSD (and even Linux)
I am invisioning a system that could maintain version and
dependency information about the entire state of the system
even if some of the system was binary installed, and some
consisted of source packages.
Hamish, this might dovetail well with some recent traffic on
Debian-devel asking about optimized-compiles for various
architectures. Certain packages could be distributed as
binary or source -- with the source version doing a self-
compile on the user's machine. This would allow users to
"twist knobs" (as Steve Price puts it ;) ) and customize things
to their liking.
This could be a real advantage for both BSD and Debian GNU/Linux,
and would perhaps be the first "fruit" of this effort.