port mysteries

Kevin Horton khorton01 at rogers.com
Sun Feb 25 08:25:59 PST 2007

On 25 Feb 2007, at 10:43, James Berry wrote:

> On Feb 25, 2007, at 7:28 AM, Kevin Horton wrote:
>> All those entries show the same version.  But, "port installed py- 
>> wxpython" shows that the first one is actually a different version:
>> % port installed py-wxpython
>> The following ports are currently installed:
>>   py-wxpython @
>>   py-wxpython @
>>   py-wxpython @ (active)
>> Bizarre.  It gives the impression that the version output from  
>> "port list installed" is not trustworthy.
> As per my earlier email, list is completely trustworthy, but you  
> need to understand what it does. It just gives you concise  
> information about the latest version of the port you've specified.  
> Int his case, by using the installed pseudo-port, you're specifying  
> the same port many times, and it gives the same same answer back  
> for each. (The list action completely ignores the extra meta- 
> information about the port version which is returned by the  
> installed pseudo-port).

OK.  I understand.  Thanks for the clear explanations.

I made the mistake of assuming that the info in the man page for port  
was sufficient to understand the output of the various commands.   
Clearly it is only a top level summary.  Other than reading the ports  
sources, or asking on the e-mail list, is there another source of  
detailed info on the intricacies of the various port commands and  

It would seem that some combinations of port commands and pseudo- 
ports will yield results that differ from what a casual user would  
expect (e.g. "port list installed", which lists the correct number of  
installed ports, but shows all at the latest version, rather than the  
actual version).  Perhaps port should detect such nonsensical  
commands, and suggest a useful substitution, and/or warn the user  
that the output may not be what they expect.  E.g.:

% port list installed
<output of "port list installed">
Note: "port list installed" shows one line for each available version  
of a port,
but each line shows the latest version number for that port, rather  
than the actual
version number.  "port echo installed" is more likely to yield the  
result you want.

The note would follow the output, so it would be likely to be seen by  
the user.

Kevin Horton
Ottawa, Canada

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