Issues with oudated ports / GitHub

Daniel J. Luke dluke at
Thu Oct 6 12:31:30 PDT 2016

On Oct 6, 2016, at 1:12 PM, Marcel Bischoff <marcel at> wrote:
> I'm currently considering dropping the use of MacPorts altogether


> as
> this projects' track record regarding critical updates of major software
> tools is rather underwhelming. Furthermore, I'm asking myself what use
> it is to have appointed port maintainers when numerous updates are not
> included in a timely manner.

As updates depend on a port maintainer (and potentially also someone with commit access), you'll likely find that the speed of updates is different for different ports. What you consider 'major software tools' may also not be what anyone else considers 'major software tools'.

> Just today I commented on a ticket that is six weeks old, about an
> update to nodejs4. Version 4.5.0 was released on 16-Aug-2016, version
> 4.6.0 on 27-Sep-2016.

no link to ticket?

Looks like you mean ''

It also looks like you believe nodejs4 qualifies for the 'Port Abandonment' procedure (which you linked to ~5 hours ago), but I did not see where you actually followed the procedure.

> If installing software by hand
> results in more current and more secure software for my development
> machine, I don't get the point of using MacPorts in the first place.

MacPorts provides a way to save the 'recipe' for installing software (and a handy way to uninstall/upgrade software). If it doesn't provide value for you, you probably shouldn't use it (and/or if you have ideas for making it more useful, we're always happy to have more contributors).

> It pains me to say that Homebrew is running circles around MacPorts in
> the department of current available packages.

[citation needed] ;-)

> If time and manpower is the problem, wouldn't it be better to move to a
> GitHub-based approach like Homebrew does?

That doesn't necessarily fix the problem. It's worth noting that there already is a plan to transition to github.

> This way far more people would
> contribute.

hopefully that's true, but there's no evidence to support that assertion at this time.

> It would lower the bar to contributing significantly. I like
> MacPorts' clean implementation far more than Homebrews'. But if I still
> cannot install (for example) pandoc because ghc still requires llwm-3.5
> which does not compile on Sierra: what choice do I have? I need to get
> stuff done, not tinker with the infrastructure of my working environment
> for hours on end, just to get it to work. A package manager's sole
> reason for being is to make the routine task of installing software and
> updates easier, more reliable and trustworthy.

if you have to tinker, and you contribute your tinkering, then other people won't have to tinker.

Daniel J. Luke

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