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Approximate number of ports at the start of each year <_:informaltable-1/>
As the external software described by the port often is under continued development, the amount of work required to maintain the ports is already large, and increasing. This has led to the ports part of the FreeBSD project gaining a more empowered structure, and is more and more becoming a sub-project of the FreeBSD project.
Ports has its own core team with the <xref linkend="role-ports-manager"/> as its leader, and this team can appoint committers without FreeBSD Core's approval. Unlike in the FreeBSD Project, where a lot of maintenance frequently is rewarded with a commit bit, the ports sub-project contains many active maintainers that are not committers.
Unlike the main project, the ports tree is not branched. Every release of FreeBSD follows the current ports collection and has thus available updated information on where to find programs and how to build them. This, however, means that a port that makes dependencies on the system may need to have variations depending on what version of FreeBSD it runs on.
With an unbranched ports repository it is not possible to guarantee that any port will run on anything other than -CURRENT and -STABLE, in particular older, minor releases. There is neither the infrastructure nor volunteer time needed to guarantee this.
For efficiency of communication, teams depending on Ports, such as the release engineering team, have their own ports liaisons.



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