How do I search inside long descriptions

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Tue Jun 19 02:08:50 PDT 2007

On Jun 19, 2007, at 02:18, Malcolm Fitzgerald wrote:

> On 19/06/2007, at 4:35 PM, paul beard wrote:
>> On Jun 18, 2007, at 11:30 PM, Malcolm Fitzgerald wrote:
>>> The words "known-good port" represent the blank that I'm trying  
>>> to fill. I want to be able to search for text inside the port's  
>>> long-description. I'd like to discover the "known-good"  
>>> spreadsheets, etc that are in MacPorts. At present I have to go  
>>> to the the freebsd ports web site, search there, then see if any  
>>> of the ports that I've found are available in MacPorts.
>> Yeah, I missed that in your question somehow.
>> Might be worth just dumping a list and seeing if you recognize  
>> any, assuming you're familiar with some of the names.
> Well, that's half the problem. I'd like to be able to explore and  
> discover new things.

In lieu of a MacPorts command to do this, since there isn't one that  
I know of, you could grep the entire text of all the portfiles. This  
won't work well if the string you're searching for is a language  
keyword, MacPorts category, username or other text that appears in  
many portfiles, but for example for "spreadsheet" it gives this:

$ grep 'spreadsheet' */*/Portfile
gnome/gnumeric/Portfile:description     A spreadsheet with gnome  
gnome/gnumeric/Portfile:long_description        A spreadsheet with  
gnome support.
math/oleo/Portfile:description                  Lightweight  
spreadsheet program
math/oleo/Portfile:     GNU Oleo is a spreadsheet program with the  
following features: \
math/oleo/Portfile:     Charts generated from spreadsheet data  
(interface is not yet stable, \
Portfile:                                        port:p5-io-stringy  
port:p5-spreadsheet-parseexcel \
python/py-xlrd/Portfile:description             module to extract  
data from Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files
python/py-xlrd/Portfile:                        Excel spreadsheet files.
python/py-xlwriter/Portfile:description         python module for  
writing Excel spreadsheets
python/py-xlwriter/Portfile:                            spreadsheets.  
It is a port of John McNamara's Perl \
python/py-xlwriter/Portfile:                            It allows  
writing of Excel spreadsheets without the \
textproc/catdoc/Portfile:                converts Excel spreadsheet  
into comma-separated value \
www/autobench/Portfile:    spreadsheet for analysis/graphing.
x11/siag/Portfile:                      It consists of the  
spreadsheet Siag, the word processor PW, \

Run this in your ports tree directory. If you don't know where that  
is, one way to get to it is like this:

cd `port dir e`/../..

There's probably a better way to do that but that works. Then, if  
your grep turns up something interesting, you can of course learn  
more about the port with "port info <PORTNAME>".

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