MacPorts Status

Jim DeLaHunt list+macports-dev at
Sat Jun 11 20:40:01 UTC 2022

Hello, Jordan:

Welcome (back to) MacPorts!

I am nobody official with the project. I just try to make contributions 
to a few ports and documentation pages where I can. But in this project, 
lots of people contribute, each in their own way.

On 2022-06-11 07:07, Jordan via macports-dev wrote:
> Hi friends,
> First of all thank you for your work! I use MacPorts exclusively for a 
> few different reasons and am looking to contribute to the project....

I for one would be glad to have your contributions.

> There is one aspect of MacPorts that has me a little down in the dumps 
> and that's is its _apparent_ (but likely not true) neglected state. I 
> think it's perhaps under maintained currently due to a lack of 
> people-power? I say so because I'd love to see more people using 
> MacPorts so I wonder if there's any "modernisation" (for lack of a 
> better word) to be had here? ... so perhaps some usage compared to 
> things like Homebrew can be gained back since I'd love to see this 
> project used more.

I think it is not fair to say MacPorts overall is in a neglected state. 
Its core purpose is to help people compile a wide range of freely 
available software on the macOS platform. As part of that it helps 
gather the related software needed to make the requested software work. 
I think that this aspect of MacPorts works very well. It gets a lot of 
care and attention. There is a lot of activity. For instance, I just 
moved onto an M1 Mac, and I see a lot of support for compiling software 
with the M1 CPU's architecture. That is the opposite of neglect.

Now, certain aspects of the project are neglected.  You mention the 
timeline on Trac. That's a page of documentation.

When you say "modernisation", I think you mean, changes to how MacPorts 
work to make it easier or better for some audience. I think that is best 
approached as a collection of small projects, each with a specific 
understanding of a problem, and its own goal for an improvement. One way 
to proceed is to start a macPorts-dev thread for each of these ideas 
(and each with a different Subject: line, please).

You mention believing that `sudo` probably scares new users. Maybe so, 
maybe not. A first step is to gather some evidence whether this is true. 
A next step is to figure out why the port tool requires use of `sudo`. A 
third step is to figure out what alternative way the port tool could 
work which does not require `sudo`.  For my part, use of `sudo` is no 
problem at all. MacPorts is a command-line tool for system maintenance. 
I am used to system maintenance tools requiring administrator passwords. 
`sudo` is a command-line way of requiring a password.

I will also say that competing with Homebrew about which project has 
more users is not very interesting to me. Homebrew works well for some 
people. MacPorts works well for some people. I'm interested in helping 
MacPorts be the best MacPorts it can be. If Homebrew ends up with more 
users, that is no big deal to me.

> Also, as a tacked-on issue I am working on...

I suggest you start a separate email thread for each issue. If you try 
to discuss deleting files on uninstall as part of a thread with the 
Subject: of "MacPorts status", which was originally about your offer to 
help, I suspect you will lose a lot of readers.

Anyhow, I look forward to seeing you in the email list, and in the trac 
tickets, and in the Pull Requests!  Glad to have your help.

Best regards,
     —-Jim "just another MacPorts user/contributor" DeLaHunt

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