GSoC idea: MacPorts GUI

Stefan Hoffmann stefhoff at
Wed Mar 30 12:20:16 PDT 2011

On Mar 30, 2011, at 08:58 PM, Per Österlund wrote:
> On Mar 30, 2011, at 3:09 PM, stefhoff at 
> <mailto:stefhoff at> wrote:
>> ah i wanted to send it to the list, but it looks like i have clicked 
>> wrong ;) but nevermind
>> hm but you always need authorization. and that is actual my problem. 
>> The Security Stuff is really difficult.
>> I have only experience in objective-c/Cocoa, but not in tcl.
>> i have some ideas :)
>>  -  maybe rename it to iPort? i would like the name and also in my 
>> freetime i designed a icon:
>>  -  a background worker who search for new versions of ports and if 
>> new versions found asks the user to update
>>  -  maybe a rating system for ports (like 5-star rating)
>>  -  comments for ports from other users
>>  -  synchronization service (to synchronize your port installations 
>> with other macs)
>>  -  a welcome page or something (like on the dashboard to place 
>> widgets on for example new ports, best rating, most downloads, ...)
>>  -  easier port submission (a input form where you can fill in all 
>> your informations like name, homepage and download locations and when 
>> the user submits it the port must be confirmed by a maintainer)
>>  -  Automatic updates for the application and macports 
>> ( and maybe also with user 
>> statistics? 
>> <>)
>> Thats all for now. :)
> You only need to subscribe to the mailing list to be able to post to 
> it. Make sure you are sending from the right email also. I had similar 
> issues.
> I like the idea of a background searcher for already downloaded and/or 
> installed ports.
> Personally I believe the user behaviour is a bit different when using 
> MacPorts than when using App Store. When they want to use MacPorts 
> they already know what they are going to download, whereas browsing 
> for something you like is a bigger thing on App Store. So I think 
> sections for comments and ratings, as well as views for most 
> downloaded ports is excessive, and would not directly add to the feel 
> of the application. The user of MacPorts is (I think) generally a bit 
> more experienced and less likely to act on impulse.
> I think it's going to be a problem syncronizing ports on your macs, 
> because the hardware may differ in a way that makes it unhandy. 
> Besides I think the average MAcPorts user is familliar with what 
> he/she needs for his computer(s).
> Further I've seen Apple removing every bit of front page or welcome 
> page, to give direct focus on the content. I think that is a good 
> standard to follow even in this project.
> Sorry if I'm being all negative about your idea. It is not my intent. 
> I'm just trying to grasp what the users need and what is simply a 
> "cool feature".
> - Per

Ok, thats no problem :)
It was just all i got in mind. I also like a background worker.
The Background Process should do following things:
  -  search for new versions of ports
  -  if a new version found ask the user to update it (maybe we should 
also add a checkbox in a preference window to auto confirm this question?)
  -  if the user confirms update it
  -  if the user wants to install a port the gui sends a for example 
notification to the background process and he will begin to install it
  -  the same for uninstall

The Background Process could be displayed in the Menu bar as an Icon and 
when you click on it, a information about the current work with progress 
and the following tasks.

Stefan Hoffmann
stefhoff at

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