October 5th, 2003, 06:00
I just wanted to point out an major new feature that will hit pkgsrc after pkgsrc is branched for the upcoming NetBSD 1.6.2 release. It's called "package views".

Package views is a pkgsrc technology that supports building and installing multiple versions of the same software such that they co-exist on a single system. Individual packages are installed into their own directory tree and their files are symlinked into "views". Users can choose amongst different software collections provided by different views by appropriately setting shell environment variables, e.g., PATH, MANPATH, etc.

Package views is similar in spirit to the Encap Package Management System, the GNU Stow Project, and the Carnegie Mellon University Depot Configuration Management system:


However, these projects have a philosophy of "install anywhere, use in one place", whereas package views departs from that model with a philosophy that can roughly be summarized as "install in one place, use anywhere". A paper describing package views may be found at:


One of the major benefits of package views is the ability to update "core" packages and migrate "leaf" packages over time to use the updated "core" packages while keeping a functioning pkgsrc installation.