port "activate instead"

Mihai Moldovan ionic at macports.org
Mon May 25 09:30:48 PDT 2015

On 25.05.2015 05:50 PM, René J.V. Bertin wrote:
> %> sudo port activate --instead_of -f libVLC-devel libVLC at 2.2.1_0+dbus+qtkit+quartz+x11
> (or --replace or --swap or some other more appropriate term)
> instead of
> %> sudo port deactivate -f libVLC-devel at 3.0.0-150503-g7385062d_0+dbus+qtkit+quartz+x11
> %> sudo port activate libVLC at 2.2.1_0+dbus+qtkit+quartz+x11
> The main reason for such a convenience feature is of course that the full specification of a port to be (de)activated is often an illegible expression that typically doesn't select entirely by double-clicking it.

This is a non-problem, really. What you failed to realize is that at most one
version can be active at any time, so specifying the "full version" string is
not necessary. Which changes the commands to

%> sudo port deactivate -f libVLC-devel
%> sudo port activate libVLC at 2.2.1_0+dbus+qtkit+quartz+x11

and is not that bad anymore.

Semantically, your "instead_of" proposal isn't great due to the fact that
multiple ports can conflict, with count > 2. Also, the conflicts can be based
upon orthogonal reasons and you wouldn't necessarily know.

Purely fictional example:

gsed conflicts with gawk, coreutils and gmake.
gawk conflicts with gsed and coreutils, but not gmake.
coreutils conflicts with gsed only.
gmake conflicts with gsed only.

Installing gawk, coreutils and gmake works fine, whereas gsed would block gawk,
coreutils and gmake. That doesn't mean, that gsed is a replacement for gawk,


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