Stable/Testing branch in MacPorts

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sun Apr 4 09:56:20 PDT 2010

On Apr 4, 2010, at 08:01, Janosch Peters wrote:

> I use macports fot about 1.5 years now. Most things work great and MP 
> has some lovely features like variants. However, it appears quite often 
> that some ports are broken for various different reasons. E.g. the 
> quartz variant of gtk2 lead to crashes in gimp2 and the bug was not 
> fixed for several months.
> I know that maintaining two branches is probably more work, but in 
> contrast to most linux distros, using macports I cannot be sure that a 
> port works if I install/upgrade it. (Of course you cannot be 100% sure 
> using e.g. ubuntu/debian either, but at least those package have been 
> tested for some time). In terms of stability the single macports branch 
> feels a bit like the "unstable" branch in debian.
> To make things even more annoying is the fact that there is no 
> _straightforward_ way to downgrade to a previous version of the port. 
> (I know that there is a way, but its not as easy as with apt-get for 
> example).
> Has maintaing two branches been already discussed on the list? 

Several times. I don't see that we have anywhere close to the (personnel) resources necessary to support such a thing. Almost 2700 out of our almost 6800 ports are unmaintained; if we can't even maintain the ports we have in our single tree, how will we keep up with multiple trees? I also don't understand how you decide when to move something from unstable to stable. Logically, you do so when it's stable, meaning when it works all the time in every circumstance, but how do you know if it's working all the time in every circumstance if nobody has tested it because everybody's running the older version in the stable branch?

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