Day 2 of 60: Blastwave

I wrote earlier about getting pkgsrc builds up and working.

Unfortunately, I wrote too soon.

Although Perl built successfully, attempts to build other applications that I'm going to need failed in interesting ways. No Subversion, no xemacs, no SVK. After fiddling with the build infrastructure for a little while and not getting terribly far I've (for the time being) switched to the pre-compiled binary packages provided by Blastwave.

Although they don't have the same building-from-source warm fuzzies that I get from pkgsrc they do at least have the benefit of actually working.

I brought this up on the #pkgsrc IRC channel earlier to see if anyone could offer any advice. The net result is that I'm going to be offering up a jail^H^H^H^Hzone on this machine to one of the pkgsrc developers to use as a Solaris 10 test bed. So Solaris 10 support in pkgsrc might start to get a little better.


  1. Isn't it nifty that we are close to be able to get those "building-from-source warm fuzzies" about the whole OS? Really, when you think about it you can download the source from OpenSolaris. You can build pretty much everything. Almost.

    Until people really want that as a project spec then we will just muddle along with OS options like Red Hat Linux and SUSE Enterprise Linux and Solaris in which you can't build _everything_ from source. In the case of Red Hat and SUSE the source isn't avaliable and don't even bother trying.


  2. Dennis -- any reason that the Blastwave stuff isn\'t as open as pkgsrc? Looking around the Blastwave site I can\'t see links to your repository, or the changes that you\'ve made to these programs to get them to build.

  3. Well way back when, in the beginning, the Solaris world was a dark place with x86 being dropped into the black lagoon with that swamp creature. We really wanted to get a base of software packages built that anyone can use and we really didn't care about the source being shared out. It wasn't even on our radar.

    Then, starting about a year ago we saw that this was becoming a sensitive issue for people.

    So we built and started to work towards a build system.

    We are still creating a ton of packages that get downloaded and installed as per good old fashioned SVR4 package methods. Getting the source changes out to people such that they could build it themselves was never a concern. It is becoming a concern.

    What do you suggest?

    Should we begin to include all the sources and source changes in the package and have that source extract into /opt/src or leave it all in the svn server or ?


  4. In my ideal world we'd take the best of the pkgsrc system (automated source downloads, local patches, auditing of installed packages for security vulnerabilities, cross-platform, public code repo), and the best of the blastwave packages (i.e., packages that do actually work on Solaris :-) ) and merge them.

    Have you thought about a collaboration with the pkgsrc group? You've (not just you, but all the blastwave contributors) have obviously got the skills necessary to get things to work under Solaris.

  5. [...] I recounted my issues with Blastwave and pkgsrc earlier. Suffice to say that Solaris would benefit from having much more open source software easily available. Blastwave does a good job, but I prefer the much more open approach taken by pkgsrc, where the barrier to contributing is much lower, and it’s easier to poke around, rebuild applications from source if necessary, and verify that what you get is what you expect. [...]