Desolate Condition

Kevin Reid kpreid at
Sun Apr 4 01:20:08 UTC 2021

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 5:22 PM Wowfunhappy at <wowfunhappy at>

> 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.

As worded, the FAQ text "the ports you install will be compiled only for
the architecture you're currently running on" implies (in the linguistic
rather than logical sense) that the compilation happens after you request
installation. The minimal patch would be to change the tense to "will *have
been* compiled only for", but an even better rewording might be something

"…the ports' installed binaries will have been compiled for your computer's

to avoid putting the user's computer in any active role in that sentence
and to make it clear we're talking about the binaries and not the
compilation process per se. Perhaps "will contain machine code for" would
be even more rigorous, but it might be less familiar.

Of course, this sentence may not be the whole problem, but it's what I saw
in that thread, it's likely *part* of the problem, and it made a good
example of the kind of sentence that can be read differently by a reader
not already familiar with the subjet.
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