variants / sub-packages

Robert Hinn exodusd at
Tue Apr 1 01:40:05 PDT 2008


I was wondering: seeing some ports called *-devel in the list, does  
MacPorts offer a sub-package mechanism? I haven't found anything in  
the guide, so I considered using variants as a proper way to handle  
optional features in a software which I would otherwise build a sub- 
package for.

Also, following the discussion about binary builds, I think it might  
get difficult if there are variants of a package that offer optional  
features which result in some destroot files only being built for  
certain variants. You'd have to specify which files belong to which  
variant in that case... Is there already a mechanism for that in the  

I definitely like the idea of binary builds. Although I am a  
developer, I usually like to get required packages into my system as  
quickly and hasslefree as possible, so I can continue my work. And I  
think most users wouldn't want a build environment on their machine if  
they're not developers (the Mac OS X SDK is an optional install,  
too ;-) ).
I also like sub-packages (variants?) very much, since they reduce the  
need for package dependencies which I don't really need on my machine...

Is it okay to use variants for sub-package-like behavior (which I am  
currently doing in the pike port I updated), or should this done  
another way?

Best regards,

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