Universal Binaries

Altoine Barker ndiscreet at gmail.com
Fri Feb 23 10:23:45 PST 2007

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I'm reading up on universal binaries and such now. I see your point but
I think it should be an option or flag that you can choose for any
particular port and not default for all ports, unless, an option to
choose to the contrary is selected to address memory space issues. I see
a need for what you are talking about and I desire such functionality
with the idea environment, which I do not have but you do. I would like
to sign up for such a cause, except, I am trying to get a few of my own
projects to the point where I would then need to look at macports
providing universal binary support. I think the premise of macports is
to be self-supporting without bloat for those that seek such a feature.

I agree for an enhanced macports that has that as an option and not
default. Since most open source code is written to be cross-platform,
there shouldn't be too many problems. Alot of work, but not too many
problems. Of course, an ability to choose the location of or a default
one created (i.e. /opt/local/universal) You wouldn't want to put it
under /System/Library/Frameworks since an update may flush your
universal ports. My $0.02.

- -Altoine

P.S. On further reading, I see it being possible. I just am not at that
point in my goals to incorporate that task. I am more than available to
test but I can not start or join such an endeavor until I finish a few
that I have now.

Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:
> 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 <mailto:eridius at macports.org>
>> http://www.tildesoft.com
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