Acceptability of depends_build bin:…

Christopher Chavez chrischavez at
Mon Dec 13 10:48:29 UTC 2021

I recently specified bin:node:… build dependency in qt5-qtwebengine. I would not consider Node.js to be a lightweight dependency, so I thought it would be preferable to allow using whichever is present, even a non-MacPorts one, before having to install a fallback; and because I had not investigated whether the build process would always respect a path:… or port:… dependency.

It has now been requested that bin:node:… not be used, in light of this comment:

> A `bin:`-style dependency allows any binary in the path, even in locations outside of MacPorts, to satisfy a dependency, which is not usually desired.

While I’m somewhat aware why bin:… dependencies are particularly undesirable for library or runtime dependencies, how strongly does the recommendation to avoid them apply to dependencies only used during build? Are they to still be avoided as much as possible, regardless of how heavy the dependencies are or whether one believes allowing third-party dependencies would not cause any significant difference in the built port (w.r.t. build reproducibility) nor pose a risk of build failure?

Christopher A. Chavez

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