[PC-BSD Testing] Proposal: Improve PBI/PC-BSD version management

Stephan Lichtenauer sl-pub-lists at honeyguide.de
Thu Apr 4 00:12:03 PDT 2013

Hi all,

I would like to suggest that PBI files can only be installed/updated on 
PC-BSD versions that definitely are supported by the PBI application.

Background: Over the last week, I had updated Firefox and Thunderbird as 
suggested by AppCafe on my PC-BSD 9.0 system. Afterwards, both 
applications refused to start because of an unresolved symbol (I don't 
remember exactly what it was). After a quick google, I found out that 
this is a well-known problem of some ports on FreeBSD 9.0 and it is 
solved with an update to FreeBSD 9.1, so I updated to PC-BSD 9.1 and 
both applications worked again.

So far so good, of course it is perfectly fine that ports (and thus 
PBIs) at some point require a new operating system version.

Nonetheless it would be very helpful - especially with the rolling 
upgrades, I assume this problem will happen even more frequently - that 
AppCafe has some checks for PBIs:
1. If the PBI or PBI update is to be installed on an older PC-BSD or 
FreeBSD version where they have not been tested, I would suggest 
AppCafe/pbi_update etc. should at least show a warning message so the 
user knows about the risk
2. If the (new) PBI version is known not to work, it should not be 
offered for installation/update at all (very much like in Google's Play 
Store for example).

I am not sure about the process of storing the required information in 
the PBI, but I assume automatically using the PC-BSD/FreeBSD version of 
the build system is already a beginning - it could then manually be 
overwritten by somebody if she/he takes the time to test it on some 
additional OS versions.

That way, especially when updating, somebody can decide to continue 
using the old version at least - because if the update is installed, the 
way back to a running PBI version is not easy.

What do you think?

Best regards


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