Been dabbling with Subversion off and on for a while now, and thought I'd try putting my FreeBSD box's /etc and /usr/local/etc dirs under SVN control. The ports tree has an older version, which works well enough - but I thought I'd see how hard it would be to come up with a newer port. (yeah, I know you can build it with just configure/make, but it would be nice to see the port updated).
Anyhow, after spending a bit of time looking at the FreeBSD Porter's Handbook, I have to say I was horrified at how much of a PITA it was to setup. It was one of those kinds of deals where you look at it and think: you have *got* to be shitting me. (To be fair though, like everything else in life maybe it wouldn't be so bad once you got a few under your belt)
I never got working exactly right, and ended up blowing it off. I figured that even if it did work, ports patches seem to have a tendency to be blown off or ignored (there's a nearly 2-month old patch for an intermediate Neon in the PR system just sitting there)
On the other hand though, I have more appreciation now for the people that do keep those ports updated and get things committed.
I was browsing through freshports.org, and something that caught my eye was A-A-P, which is a Python-powered package builder/installer meant to maybe someday supplant things like the *BSD ports systems.
Took a whack at putting together A-A-P "recipies" for Neon 0.23.5 and Subversion 0.15, and found that it did make building and installing FreeBSD packages pretty easy. Pretty good for a version 0.1 release