NonTcl Portfiles

George Armah armahg at
Sun Jul 20 09:19:18 PDT 2008

(First attempt to send this email failed. Hope this one works)


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
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.

Let me know if this idea sounds feasible or if there is already such a
tool out there
which I didn't know about,



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