Issues with oudated ports / GitHub

Marcel Bischoff marcel at
Thu Oct 6 13:08:27 PDT 2016

Hi Eric,

thanks for the pointer. Good to hear that things are already in motion
to make the switch. I'm looking over the messages exchanged in the last
couple of weeks.


On 16/10/06, Eric A. Borisch wrote:
>At least some of your concerns should be getting addressed with this:
>("Goodbye Mac OS Forge, hello GitHub")
>Also, much of the discussion over the past two months on this list has been
>on this transition; take a look at the archives and chime in!
>  - Eric
>On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 12:12 PM, Marcel Bischoff <marcel at>
>> Hi all,
>> I was advised that I should ask my questions and raise my issues here.
>> 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.
>> 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. Version 4 is considered the stable LTS variant,
>> only fixing security issues without introducing new features. This makes
>> timely updates all the more important. 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.
>> It pains me to say that Homebrew is running circles around MacPorts in
>> the department of current available packages.
>> If time and manpower is the problem, wouldn't it be better to move to a
>> GitHub-based approach like Homebrew does? This way far more people would
>> contribute. 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.
>> The way it is now, I repeatedly find myself in need to modify the
>> Portfiles manually, test, check, test again and so on. Or I simply run
>> `brew install pandoc` and — be done. Plus, doing all that manual diffing
>> where just a minor mistake will frustrate me and requires me to attach a
>> completely new diff file quite honestly keeps me from contributing
>> regularly. In 2016 this feels like pulling teeth, not satisfaction or a
>> sense of accomplishment that should accompany working together on free
>> software.
>> I'd really like to hear from several sides about the why's and how's
>> regarding MacPorts' current state and what the plan is for the
>> forseeable future. I was told that there is a current discussion
>> underway about a possible move to GitHub. I would throw whatever weight
>> I have behind that move. If you need another helping hand for clearly
>> defined work, let me know. I'll be more than happy to involve myself.
>> My best,
>> Marcel
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