Package delivery without XCode

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Mon May 18 17:04:07 PDT 2015

On May 18, 2015, at 4:11 PM, Craig Treleaven wrote:

> Right now, as I see it, MacPorts is pretty much geared to coders and sophisticated users (system/network administrators, etc).  There exists a wider group of folks who just want to run a specific application or two (say Darktable and Gimp, just for instance).  If such users could just install "Pallet-lite" and then be able to install any of a few dozen major open-source applications, that might be pretty popular.

Most of the software in MacPorts is something you would use from the command line (e.g. ImageMagick), or something that is server software (e.g. Apache or PostgreSQL) or is a compiler or interpreter for a programming language (e.g. PHP or Node or GCC). Users of such software would hopefully be comfortable using MacPorts from the command line.

There's no reason why users who aren't comfortable with the command line (the "wider group of folks" you mention) can't also use MacPorts. It should not be beyond anyone's capabilities to read and follow the MacPorts installation instructions, and to type a few commands into a terminal window to install the software they want. And those who prefer to use a MacPorts GUI have a few choices for that. Hopefully Pallet will be a viable option again sometime in the future when it's fixed up. I think there was even a recent proposal from someone to do that.

Most GUI software designed for the Mac is already distributed in a ready-to-install way by those respective projects. Your two examples, Gimp and Darktable, already are, for example. For a lot of GUI software, e.g. VLC, it's simply a lot less bother to just use the binaries the developers provide rather than trying to use MacPorts to install it.

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