A new category of ports: purgatory

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at macports.org
Tue Oct 18 01:42:00 PDT 2016

On Oct 18, 2016, at 2:53 AM, Mojca Miklavec wrote:

> I would like to ask once again for thoughts about the following suggestion.
> 1.) Create a new folder/category called "purgatory" (other suggestions
> for names welcome)

I'm not in favor of moving ports to such a new category folder. You could add that as a secondary category without needing to move any files around. The question is, why?

> 2.) We would put there any ports satisfying some of the following criteria:
> - don't build at all
> - abandoned upstream
> - potentially maintainer upstream, but broken in MacPorts and require
> a lot of further work before they are useful again
> - apache 1, python < 2.7, python < 3.4, perl < 5.22, postgresql <
> (something), ...
> 3.) For the time being I would only create a new folder and move those
> ports there, but the idea is to actually stop indexing those ports and
> stop building them on the buildbots. (Or perhaps index them, but when
> users request them, tell them that the port is in purgatory and point
> them to instructions what to do.) This is something that can always be
> implement later.

Why would you stop indexing them?

Why would you have the buildbot stop building them?

What would the instructions that you suggest to point the user at say?

> 4.) If any users start crying after we have removed perl5.20, they can
> get it from the purgatory without playing a detective (but they have
> to manually add it to PortIndex). If some project that is being
> actively developed upstream, but is badly supported and broken in
> MacPorts, users might easily find the existing broken files and fix
> them again.
> 5.) Officially those ports would be completely unsupported (but, if
> for some reason, some enthusiast really wants to fix a problem in gcc
> 1.0, I would not prevent them from doing that).
> I would find it much easier to move the port there than to keep asking
> everyone around whether it's ok to remove that port that hasn't been
> building for the last 7 years.
> I would like to clear this up ASAP. Because I would want to move the
> old Perls there (once I delete it, I will no longer be willing to
> resurrect it, but I would be willing to give it that last breath and
> put it to "purgatory" now). I would like to point people to something
> they can do easily if we remove those old ports, but at the same time
> there has been a lot of pressure to actually remove those ports. I
> just find it super confusing that we insist in keeping some ancient
> software and remove the other. It would be better to have some clearer
> policy for the whole macports.

What's the harm if I personally wish to continue providing older php ports? If others no longer wish to provide older python ports that's up to them to decide. All software is different; I don't need a unifying MacPorts policy to dictate which software is too old.

It's probably reasonable to just delete some obsolete ports, like apache 1, without any intermediate purgatory. I don't think anybody's going to be too upset about that.

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