NonTcl Portfiles

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sun Jul 20 19:10:58 PDT 2008

On Jul 20, 2008, at 17:38, George Armah wrote:

> I was reading through the Portfile Development section of MacPorts  
> Guide
> and an idea occurred to me.
> It has been mentioned before that having Tcl as MacPorts' base  
> language
> does shy away some potential developers and port contributers /  
> maintainers.
> The Basic Portfile example (or some variant of it) looks like  
> something
> that could easily be typed in a plain old text file. Would it be  
> possible to create a Tcl
> tool that parses Portfiles that are in for example .txt file  
> formats? The exact format of the text in
> the file would probably be different from the current Tcl portfiles  
> (and hopefully simpler as a
> result).
> That way potential port maintainers who don't know any Tcl won't shy
> away from contributing and maintaining ports.
> I myself don't know too much Tcl (but am willing to learn) and  
> currently
> have my hands full with GSoC. I'll however be willing to work on  
> such a project after
> summer is over if I have some help getting started.

I don't think we're going to change this anytime soon, like jkh said.

Instead, the Guide exists to teach you all you need to know to write  
Portfiles. If the Guide is inadequate in that regard, then it's the  
Guide that should be improved, rather than rewriting virtually all of  

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