Change in ports.conf and ~/.portsrc search paths

James Berry jberry at
Tue Apr 17 12:23:05 PDT 2007

Hi Juan,

On Apr 17, 2007, at 10:33 AM, Juan Manuel Palacios wrote:
> On Apr 17, 2007, at 11:59 AM, James Berry wrote:
>> I intentionally kept the behavior the same as it was before. I  
>> think there are arguments to both behaviors (overriding the whole  
>> file vs overriding duplicate fields). Overall, the "only one file  
>> wins" strategy is probably simplest to understand, and since we  
>> don't have that many settings, probably not onerous for the user.
>> I actually came upon this issue again when I added the (hidden)  
>> feature of parsing options from ~/.macports/user.conf. Should this  
>> file be allowed to contain only per-user settings (such as  
>> submitter name, submitter email, etc, for mpwa) or should it also  
>> allow the ports.conf settings to be overridden? I decided on the  
>> former, but once again there may be arguments to have _this_ be  
>> the mechanism to allow per-setting overrides for the system  
>> configuration settings. (For those curious, there are no settings  
>> read from user.conf that currently do anything, but the idea is  
>> that this will be a source of information about the current user,  
>> used while submitting ports to mpwa, which isn't yet available.)
>> James
> 	I think that if we allow overriding of conf values in a user  
> confined doc like ~/.macports/user.conf, we should go ahead and  
> allow selective overriding from existing conf files and dump the  
> current behavior (overriding duplicate fields --proposed behavior--  
> winning over overriding whole files --current behavior--, borrowing  
> from your wording). I am sure explaining to users they cannot  
> override system wide settings in ~/.macports/ports.conf but that  
> they actually can in ~/.macports/user.conf, while also explaining  
> that if they have ~/.macports/ports.conf they have to insure it is  
> self contained (that is, every single value for keys that mp needs  
> to function properly are in that file), will get pretty confusing.  
> Hell, I even had a hard time writing that just now! Not too sure it  
> makes any sense the way it came out ;-) But I'm sure you follow me.
> 	What I propose:
> -) File precedence: ${prefix}/etc/ports/ports.conf (note, we should  
> update that to ${prefix}/etc/MacPorts for consistency's sake while  
> at it!), ~/.macports/ports.conf, env PORTSRC variable (or however  
> it's called). Last one found wins;
> -) A value found in file 2 overrides the same value found in file  
> 1, and the same in file 3 overrides the one in file 2, etc (only  
> values, not entire files);
> -) ~/.macports/user.conf is kept solely for user information with  
> respect to mpwa;
> -) Maybe we could also include support for ~/.macports/ 
> variants.conf and also, why not, an env variable for it;
> -) How about also an equivalent env variable for ~/.macports/ 
> user.conf? Consistency is a big plus!
> 	Thoughts?

My thought is that it works fine right now. It's not my top priority  
to beat this very minor piece of functionality to death. My original  
mail was just to make sure I let people know that I changed the name/ 
location of a file that nobody probably uses. It was not an attempt  
to spend a bunch of time and energy to rethink preferences ;)


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