MP # of ports compared to other managers

Jordan K. Hubbard jkh at
Mon Apr 30 01:14:26 PDT 2007

I'm usual the cynical one around here, but I actually think this is  
because MacPorts has been putting a lot of time, lately, into  
improving its infrastructure rather than focusing on continuously  
adding (and subsequently maintaining) ports through sheer brute-force.

FreeBSD has over 15,000 ports largely because they put a huge amount  
of time into building all their ports on a regular basis, collecting  
the build results, and making regular status information available to  
maintainers (see so that the overall  
collection does not become completely unmanageable.

I think the new MP crew has seen that there's still a lot of work to  
do in QA, making port descriptions more powerful and/or concise, and  
implementing commonly requested features in order to support future  
ports that don't fit into the current system very well, and they've  
wisely chosen to focus on these things rather than just expanding the  
collection.  That's a good thing. :-)

That said, I don't think anyone is actively discouraging anyone from  
adding more ports, it's just a question of where the focus is right  
now.  There has been quite a lot of work put into cleaning up and  
adding ports, a lot of time also going into figuring out how to use  
the new trac system at macosforge and adapting the project's  
processes to fit the new infrastructure.

- Jordan

On Apr 30, 2007, at 12:53 AM, markd at wrote:

> Okay, this may seem like a silly question, but it seems the the  
> rate of
> new ports has tapered off and we're treading water at near 4000.   
> No doubt
> that will creep up slowly, but I see Fink has roughly 8,000 and  
> FreeBSD
> double that.  Is that because they have more legacy software that  
> we don't
> use?  I just wonder what type of stuff they have that we don't,  
> especially
> since it seems like we're not missing too much that people are  
> asking for.
>  What is it about our user base that makes us content with 1/2 the  
> number
> of available ports?  Or is it just me?  Are we content with our  
> available
> ports?
> Mark
> _______________________________________________
> macports-dev mailing list
> macports-dev at

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