Travis CI timeouts for MacPorts builds

Mojca Miklavec mojca at
Tue Sep 8 20:56:43 UTC 2020

On Tue, 8 Sep 2020 at 19:25, Ralph Seichter wrote:
> * Mojca Miklavec:
> >> If I can assist, let me know, but I don't think it likely at this
> >> point.
> >
> > Because you lack time or for some other reason?
> I would make the time for MacPorts. My assumption is just that I still
> know to little about how the MacPorts builds work to be of assistance,
> and that "you guys" have matters in hand.

Our manpower is pretty limited.
There are many contributors to ports, but not so many who contribute
to the base & infrastructure. It's a very small group of people with
full-time jobs and other hobbies. To the best of my knowledge nobody
is actively working on solving this particular challenge to better
address building PRs (it's doable, it just requires some time

So any helping hand would be extremely welcome.

> If you think that I can
> actually help, and if there is documentation or source code available,
> please let me know. I'm ready for some reading. ;-)

I definitely believe that new contributors can bring in a lot of
useful stuff, and if you are willing to tackle this challenge, we
would certainly be very very grateful.

I can provide some pointers to the existing code, but I'm pretty sure
that it would be more of a hindrance than of any actual help. To
clarify: you can either decide to start improving the existing tools
(and in that case having a better understanding of them is a must),
but proof-of-concept for disposable images for building ports in PRs
doesn't require any special knowledge about the current codebase.

There are the following parts that need to be addressed:

  (a) prepare a set of images with different macOS versions (for as
far back in history as it gets, but start with one)
  (b) for later: find the easiest way to keep updating MacPorts and
macOS inside the base image on regular bases
  (a) figure out how to fire up a disposable image, build a
hello_world.cpp on it, report build success/failure and destroy the VM
  (b) figure out how to do that using either
or something equivalent

The repository for infrastructure is mostly here (again, no need to
understand any of it right now unless you want to contribute there
directly with other improvements):
I'm not sure if we have some really good pieces of documentation about
how it all works (there is some internal documentation for those who
run the server), but feel free to ask if there is any part of the
project where you would like to contribute to in particular.

Ryan is currently working on a rewrite of buildbot setup, so the above
link is already "old" in a sense.


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