Desolate Condition

Joshua Root jmr at
Sun Apr 4 02:07:10 UTC 2021

On 2021-4-4 11:35 , Craig Treleaven wrote:
>> On Apr 3, 2021, at 8:21 PM, Wowfunhappy at 
>> <mailto:Wowfunhappy at> <wowfunhappy at 
>> <mailto:wowfunhappy at>> wrote:
>> I see this misconception /all over the place/, that Homebrew is fast 
>> because it uses prebuilt binaries, whereas MacPorts makes you wait 
>> while software is compiled. It can't /just/ be due to outdated 
>> information, if we're more than a decade out from when the buildbot 
>> went live.
>> I know it's just one data point, but I thought the replies I got on 
>> this Hacker News comment today were interesting. I can understand why 
>> he/she got confused, and I wonder if there's anything MacPorts could 
>> do to make it clearer. 
>> <>
> It happens that I just did a self update and upgraded 20 ports on 10.15. 
>   6 or the 20 were built from source.  I believe this is higher than 
> usual due to the backlog on the 10.15 builbot.  Even in the best case, 
> however, a fair number of ports will be built from source for the 
> well-known reasons.  It would be interesting to know, say, how many of 
> our most-requested ports are always built from source.
> <>
> Eg, git is our second-most requested port and it is always built from 
> source AFAIK.
> Almost any reasonably complex package will have some of its dependencies 
> that must be built from source.
> To the average user, I would suggest that we should emphasize that 
> MacPorts installs binaries whenever allowed by licensing but makes a 
> serious effort to avoid contravening the various open source licenses. 
>   Plus MacPorts offers many more options (“variants”) to customize 
> installations and offers a wide breadth of packages.

I wrote a new FAQ and slightly reworded the one about universal 
binaries. The latter was originally written before the buildbot existed, 
so it was saying "build" where "install" is now more accurate. However 
+universal is still a non-default variant and so very often won't be 
available as a binary.

- Josh

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