GSoC 2013: Binaries Idea

Marcelo Galvão Póvoa marspeoplester at
Sun Apr 14 17:44:51 PDT 2013

Hi Clemens,

On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 6:33 AM, Clemens Lang <cal at> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 01:37:39AM -0300, Marcelo Galvăo Póvoa wrote:
>> I think binary packages could benefit from some other useful perks
>> such as: prior disk space requirement information and being able to
>> query port contents such as in [1].
> That sounds good and would be nice to have. Note that querying port
> contents will only work for the configurations our buildbots actually
> build, i.e. for the default variants only. However, having partial
> information is better than having no information whatsoever, I guess ;)

I think this would be useful in general to find out which port
provides a certain file (a library file, for example), which shouldn't
depend on the variant in most cases. Besides, if we build for the most
popular variants combinations as you said, it can be even more

>> - Do I need prior knowledge of Tcl to be able to tackle this project?
>> I have some experience with bash script.
> From my own experience as a GSoC student in 2011 I know that you can
> manage without prior knowledge on Tcl. I'd suggest the Tcl Tutorial:

Good, I should take a look at this later then.

>> - Why some ports are not available as binary packages? Are there
>> portability issues in compiling these?
> There are multiple reasons why a port might not be available as binary:
>  - First, binary downloads are only used when some configuration
>    variables are still at their default, e.g. prefix=/opt/local,
>    applications_dir=/Applications/MacPorts.
>  - Second, we only build the default variants of every port. Building
>    every possible combination of variants would probably be
>    computationally expensive. We're trying to gather statistical data to
>    build popular variants, but that work hasn't been deployed yet.
>  - Third, while building might work, licenses don't always permit us to
>    distribute the binaries we build. For the same reason, ports that do
>    not specify their license aren't distributed (which doesn't mean they
>    aren't built on the buildbots, though)

I think approaching the second point would be interesting in this
project. Is there a tool to gather these statistics available


More information about the macports-dev mailing list