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Old 7th September 2010
ocicat ocicat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,295

Originally Posted by mechanic View Post
...let me point out that when I run pkg_add firefox I get version 3.0.18 - I am not making this up!
Section 15.2.4 of the FAQ shows that to install packages, the full name of the package (including version specification) must be supplied. However, specifying only:

# pkg_add firefox

...will also succeed in this case because pkg_add(1) also supports "fuzzy" package name matching minus the version specification. The FAQ does not mention this most likely to avoid situations just like this -- users expecting one thing get something entirely different, so make them cognizant of version numbers from the very beginning. Specifying package names with their versions is a safe practice. Experienced users who have studied the manpages will discover other shortcuts, but use them with knowledge of how the package system was designed & works.

As I vaguely recall, Firefox 3.5 was not fully vetted at the time of OpenBSD 4.7's package freeze. Firefox has a track record of releasing rough code, so it takes some time for OpenBSD's port developers to sanction something which has some stability & not cause excessive support nightmares.

You may ask why the latest version (or more recent version) is not available to those using the CD sets. This requires knowledge of the different flavors of OpenBSD which is discussed in Section 5.1 of the FAQ. The developers focus on the head of development which is -current. All new development takes place here. The packages available for -release are defined several months prior to the release date, & in most cases are not updated through the remainder of the support cycle. If you want the very latest versions of third-party applications, you will have to run -current. However, be advised that being at the head of development, running code where the paint is not dry is not advisable to most (which is also stated in Section 5.1...).

mechanic, it appears you are coming at OpenBSD thinking that it is the same as Linux, or expecting it to perform as some other operating system community. It isn't. OpenBSD has its own culture, & own ways of doing things. Expecting it to behave as some other operating system is only going to lead to continued frustration & aggravation.

The solution is to seriously study the documentation beginning with the FAQ. As has been said to you before, OpenBSD is a very small project with a limited number of developers. Rough edges exist. Contradictions will be found. The goal of the OpenBSD project is not to cater to newcomers & the uninformed. The target audience for OpenBSD is the OpenBSD developers themselves as can be seen in the following publicly stated goals:

Yes, this is unlike other Open Source projects. The developers prefer it this way because they can focus on technical arguments & better engineering practices as opposed to coming out with glossy marketing brochures trying to attract every person to use their operating system. If OpenBSD meets your needs & you have the skill set & experience to fill in the gaps that do exist, then great; welcome to the community. If the gaps are too vast, & or you want the project to cater more to your specific needs, there may be other alternatives which are better suited to provide this to you.
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