Universal Binaries

Jordan K. Hubbard jkh at brierdr.com
Fri Feb 23 09:23:40 PST 2007

Is that one of them-there rhetorical questions? :-)

There are lots of good reasons to want universal binaries.   For one,  
it allows you to NFS/AFP/... share a single /opt/local among machines  
(who says that directory always has to be local?) without having to  
worry about which architecture those machines are.   It also allows  
you to archive up a carefully built-up /opt/local (+ /Applications/ 
DarwinPorts) and give it to other people, of course.

Finally, perhaps the best reason for building universal is the  
eventual (any year now, I'm sure, and almost certainly by the next  
millennium) move to releasing packaged versions of MacPorts software,  
complete with dependency tracking.  You don't want to have 2 sets of  
packages (assuming that only 32 bit ABIs are important) in what would  
eventually be a multi-thousand package archive.

Universal Binaries are definitely the way forward on the Mac and  
porters should be encouraged to shoot for them as the rule rather  
than the exception.   If disk space is a problem for any of the  
targets (and it's not that big an increase), they can always be  
thinned post-install time.

- Jordan

On Feb 23, 2007, at 7:35 AM, Kevin Ballard wrote:

> I'm curious as to why you want universal binaries. In general,  
> binaries produced via MacPorts can't be copied between platforms,  
> as they need all the libraries they depend on. Sure, you can copy  
> your entire MacPorts /opt/local tree, but outside of doing that  
> it's quite hard to migrate the built products.
> Given that, what benefit do you get from universal binaries?
> On Feb 22, 2007, at 5:23 PM, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> On Feb 22, 2007, at 02:35, Nathan Brazil wrote:
>>> Hi.  Is it possible to produce universal binaries from MacPorts?   
>>> For example, are the GTK+ binaries produced from MacPorts  
>>> specific to the architecture of the machine it is produced on  
>>> (PPC vs Intel), or is there a way to produce binaries that will  
>>> work natively on both?
>> MacPorts produces platform-native binaries. There is no way to  
>> produce universal binaries. For many projects, it is a simple  
>> matter to produce universal binaries. However, some projects need  
>> to be handled specially, so MacPorts cannot provide a guaranteed  
>> way of automatically building universal binaries of all software.  
>> A very few ports provide a +universal variant.
> -- 
> Kevin Ballard
> http://kevin.sb.org
> eridius at macports.org
> http://www.tildesoft.com
> _______________________________________________
> macports-users mailing list
> macports-users at lists.macosforge.org
> http://lists.macosforge.org/mailman/listinfo/macports-users

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