GSoC 2013: Binaries Idea

Joshua Root jmr at
Mon Apr 15 05:29:10 PDT 2013

On 2013-4-14 19:33 , Clemens Lang wrote:
>> - I didn't find much information about the current status of the
>> binary building system, could someone elaborate on that? Specifically,
>> which other tasks does this project expect besides those mentioned in
>> the wiki?
> I'm not very familiar with the binary build system. Maybe somebody else
> on this list has some insight into this?

I guess that's my cue. Ask away and I'll do my best to answer any
questions you have.

As for what you could do with binaries, there are a few enhancements
that could be made to the current MPAB system, but I don't know if they
would constitute a reasonably big project for GSoC. The chroot thing
mentioned on the wiki is (a) really hard given the way modern OS X
works, and (b) a lot less relevant with sandboxing in the picture.
Current trunk sandboxes a lot of stuff, but more can be done.

There have been some other directions for binaries talked about on the
lists. One is to make essentially a parallel binary-only distribution,
built from the portfiles, that uses something like pkgng or rpm for

Another idea, enabled by automatic builds, is to maintain a list of
ports known to build and pass their test phase (if any) on each
platform, and allow users to choose to only see those in the list for
their platform. If what we have at the moment is analogous to Debian
unstable, this would be like Debian testing. This could easily be
extended to only make visible ports for which a binary archive is available.

- Josh

More information about the macports-dev mailing list