Why doesn't macports install prebuild packages?

Jasper Frumau jasperfrumau at gmail.com
Mon Nov 30 01:28:22 PST 2009

> Sure. The question was always what package format to use. At first (~2002)
> we discussed dpkg, but abandoned because IIRC at the time Debian preferred
> Apple to not use it. We held out hope for apkg, a more advanced/suitable
> Apple Package Format, but that didn't materialize. We've discussed on and
> off a xar-based packaging format, but that, though a very nice idea, has
> still not happened.
> In the meantime, we implemented support for generating quite a few
> different package formats in base very early on -- dpkg, rpm, pkg/mpkg.
> If you install the dpkg or rpm ports, you can build packages from ports
> right now. Example:
>        landonf at max> sudo port dpkg dict
>       .......
>          The Dictionary Server Protocol (DICT) is a TCP transaction based
> query/response protocol that allows a client to access dictionary
> definitions from a set of natural language dictionary databases. dict(1) is
> a client which can access DICT servers from the command line.
>          .
>          http://www.dict.org/
> The same also works for 'rpm', and Apple 'pkg' and 'mpkg' targets.
> Someone just needs to invest the time in implementing automated building of
> all of the packages into a repository, ensuring that MacPorts meta-data is
> properly included, and you could provide an package (apt-get, yum, macports
> 'archive', ...) binary repository.
> If you look in base/portmgr/packaging, you'll actually find a number of
> scripts that do most of this:           - dpkgall.tcl
>        - mpkgall.tcl
>        - packageall.tcl
>        - rpmall.tcl
> With some pragmatic decisions about a packaging format, hardware on which
> to run builds (IIRC jkh at Apple has offered to donate this), and a bit of
> time, I'd bet a sufficiently motivated developer (admittedly, not me) could
> have a binary repository fairly operational within a couple weeks.

Well, but who has the authority to choose the packaging format? And how many
base developers does Mac Ports have at its disposal at the moment? These
would be my next questions to keep this discussion going and hopefully to
get this repository project of the ground..

> -landonf
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